The groundbreaking filtration system designed and patented by the Neapolitan group is finally ready for commercialisation, and the Finnish company will be the first to bring it to the market.
All revenues from the patent licensing will go to charity.
Naples, 17 February 2022: The Grimaldi Group has proven once again that it is a veritable pioneer of environmental sustainability. The Neapolitan ship owning company, which has been working for years to tackle the problem of the growing quantity of microplastics in the world’s oceans, has now announced a major breakthrough: a system, tested and recently patented, capable of filtering the wash-water from shipboard exhaust gas cleaning systems (also known as scrubbers).
This unprecedented innovation, finally ready for commercialisation, stems from the Neapolitan group’s idea of transforming its ships into “vacuum cleaners for the sea”, which collect pollutant particles and remove them from the water filtered while sailing. Open loop scrubbers, already installed on dozens of Grimaldi Group ships to clean their exhaust gases, suck enormous quantities of water every day and then return them to the sea; before doing so, the new system filters the water and captures the microplastics, preventing them from being ingested by fish and other marine organisms and entering the food chain.
The first company to obtain the non-exclusive license for the development and marketing of the new system is Wärtsilä, a world leader in technologies for the marine and energy industries. The microplastic filter will be an integral feature of the future wash-water treatment systems produced by the Finnish group.
Not only will this innovation benefit the environment: the Grimaldi Group will donate the revenues from the licensing of the patent to charity.
“It is a pleasure to continue our long relationship with Grimaldi and announce this innovation”, stated Tamara de Gruyter, President Marine Systems at Wärtsilä. “Microplastics are a pressing environmental challenge and we’re proud to work together with Grimaldi to tackle cleaning up the oceans. Even more importantly, the ability to capture microplastics shows how scrubbers are a platform for solving a wide range of sustainability challenges – and now even ones that are beyond the stack.”
“Reducing microplastics pollution in our world’s oceans is an important challenge, and we are pleased to provide a solution for the shipping industry. The idea for this innovative technology originated from recognising that open loop exhaust gas cleaning systems can draw seawater for exhaust scrubbing and simultaneously collect microplastic present in the oceans as part of their
normal operation”, commented Grimaldi Group Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi. “We have already completed pilot testing of this system onboard one of our vessels deployed between Civitavecchia and Barcelona. The results are promising, with 64,680 microplastic particles collected on a single voyage between these two ports. We are glad that Wärtsilä also recognises the potential of this system, and we look forward to further collaboration to tackle microplastics in our oceans”, Emanuele Grimaldi added.