Wärtsilä and Grimaldi unveil new filter system for ocean microplastics

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The technology group Wärtsilä, together with the shipping company Grimaldi Group, have introduced a new system that uses exhaust gas scrubber wash-water to tackle the amount of microplastics in the world’s oceans.

The capability to filter microplastics will be an integrated feature of Wärtsilä’s future wash-water treatment system.
The capability to filter microplastics will be an integrated feature of Wärtsilä’s future wash-water treatment system.

To tackle the growing amount of microplastics in the world’s seas, Grimaldi has developed and patented a system that filters out microplastics from open loop scrubber wash-water. Wärtsilä, in partnership with the Neapolitan group, will take the microplastics filtration system, which traps plastic particles before the wash-water is returned to the ocean, to market. The capability to filter microplastics will be an integrated feature of Wärtsilä’s future wash-water treatment system.

The new system uses the natural capabilities of an open loop scrubber to contribute to cleaning the oceans during each voyage. Currently, a 10-megawatt engine will require scrubbers to process approximately 450 mof water per hour, potentially resulting in a large amount of microplastics being captured from seawater. According to early test results, the microplastics filtration system is efficient in capturing particles smaller than 10µm and the captured concentration by volume equals around 76 particles/m3.

Adding an abatement solution for microplastics to Wärtsilä’s portfolio further strengthens its commitment to use exhaust gas cleaning systems as a part of a modular platform that can enable further environmental technology innovations.