Breakthrough In Scrubbing Microplastics From The World’s Oceans

Retired US Marine Corps combat engineer shows off a new tool capable of separating microplastics from organic sea matter.

The Trash Time Machine (TTM) is an open-source invention created by Ray Aivazian III, a former Marine Corps combat engineer and the founder of Stimulating Education and Ecological Design (SEED), a non-profit organisation aimed at tackling the problem of microplastics pollution in the world’s oceans.

@seed.world/Newsflash

SEED provides freely available inventions and information in the hopes that this will encourage local communities to give back to the environment, while the TTM uses water density and the principles of physics to separate microplastics from organic sea matter.

The Hawaii-based environmentalist and inventor told Newsflash: “Our goals are to help educate the world on the detrimental effects of microplastic pollution on our ecosystem and future while also providing the people with open-source information to create the two inventions we developed for the removal of shoreline microplastics and the separation of natural and synthetic material.”

The video was filmed on the island of Oahu in Hawaii this year and features the SEED founder explaining how the TTM uses a vacuum chamber to remove synthetic materials from natural seaside matter.

The device would ideally be used after beach clean-up sessions with SEED’s second invention, the Buoyancy Separation Device (BSD), a “simplistic but effective technology” aimed at removing shoreline debris, according to the organisation’s official page.

These clean-up sessions typically see bits of sandy sticks and wood being collected along with the plastic debris.

Ray explained: “The TTM forces the natural material to become waterlogged in a matter of minutes compared to the natural, unknown, time it would take for the debris to become waterlogged.

“Certain plastics (PP, LDPE, HDPE) will always float in water.

“Our system (BSD) uses ocean water to float out these plastics and separate it from the beach sand.

Picture shows synthetic plastic, in Oahu, Hawaii, in undated footage. SEED’s Trash Time Machine uses water and physics to separate natural and synthetic material. (@seed.world/Newsflash)

“This process removes virtually all synthetic marine debris and leaves behind nothing but clean sand.

Ray grew up in California and now lives on Oahu, which is affectionately known as “The Gathering Place” in Hawaii and is reportedly home to nearly one million people, or over two-thirds of the archipelago state’s entire population.

He added: “Living in Hawaii, the ocean is a part of my everyday life.

“Seeing the amount of waste wash upon our shores daily bothered me and I didn’t see anyone doing anything to remove these microplastics from our beaches due to the difficulty in removing such small material.

“Being an engineer, I put my skills to the test to see what I could do to help with this issue.”

The inventor appears to have lived a prolific life as he also happens to be the current President of the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the United States and is the former chair of Surfrider Foundation in Oahu.

Picture shows natural and synthetic marine debris in Oahu, Hawaii, in undated footage. SEED’s Trash Time Machine uses water and physics to separate natural and synthetic material. (@seed.world/Newsflash)

He went on to state that SEED’s newly developed tools are now being used in collaboration with the Hawaii Pacific University Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR) to conduct scientific research on the accumulation of shoreline microplastics.

He added: “Through our work at CMDR, preliminary data is showing that we can remove microplastic particles down to 25 microns.

“This ground-breaking research shows that plastic pollution is persisting on a significantly smaller scale than previously believed by scientists and individuals in the polymer industry.”

Instructions on how to build the new inventions, are described in detail on SEED’s website, which can be accessed here: https://www.seed.world/build.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Alice Amelia ThomasSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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