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Using ocean plastic waste to power ocean cleanup ships

Bob Yirka of Tech Xplore writes on a group of researchers who believe that we could power ships with ocean plastics. 

The C3 Take
  • The researchers believe that by converting the plastics to a type of oil via hydrothermal liquefaction we could power ocean cleanup ships.
  • While the oil made from ocean plastic would still emit carbon, its carbon intensity would be significantly less than traditional petroleum.
  • While it remains to be seen if this project would be successful, this could be key to reducing pollution in oceans.

“A team of researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard University believes that the plastic amassing in floating islands in the oceans could be used to power the ships that are sent to clean them up. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes how ocean plastics could be converted to ship fuel.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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