A team of inventors from Sussex, England, has developed a solar and wind-powered boat that can suck up plastic waste.
Bluebird Marine Systems unveiled their proof of concept at the government funded Innovate UK show in London in late 2015 and are now crowd funding the construction of a full-scale vessel.
SeaVax, when built, it will be 44 meters (144 feet) long, have a suction head some 13.5 meters (44 foot) wide, and will be fully autonomous. Deck-mounted solar panels and two wind turbines will feed power to electric pumps and filters that will suck up plastic solids and micro plastics.
An onboard shredder will break up larger pieces. The plastic is stored in a cargo hold capable of holding around 150 tons ready for disposal and recycling on shore.
It seems that SeaVax and Bluebird Marine Systems has gained the attention of people in India looking for a clean-up solution for the Ganges River. There was also interest from Nigeria and Australia where it is envisaged the vessel could be adapted for oil cleanup. SeaVax can be equipped with an oil spill recovery module as an accessory item or as the main function.
The company has built a 1:20 scale proof of concept model, and the full-size will be the world’s largest vacuum cleaner.