Marine geophysical company Petroleum Geo-Services is joining the fight against ocean pollution as it developed a concept for efficient, large-scale collection of plastic in the oceans.
The company said that its plastic collection concept consists of a seismic vessel and a support vessel towing booms, in a fan formation, which are connected to a processing unit at the end of the spread.
Namely, the large onboard compressors, which usually supply the seismic source, would be used to pump air through a ventilated hose, towed at some 50 meters water depth between the seismic ship and the support vessel. The air bubbles would attach to the submerged plastic which would then rise to the sea surface.
PGS informed that the processing unit at the end of the collection spread would separate organic materials from plastic. The latter would be compressed and packaged into super-strong synthetic skins. Once full, each skin section would be marked by GPS and AIS to be collected and towed to a processing facility for recycling.
“There are well-known garbage geysers in different oceans of the world and our plastic collection concept is intended to take advantage of the currents in these systems and collect plastic before it eventually sinks to the seabed,” Jon Erik Reinhardsen, President & CEO of PGS, said.
PGS said that its four cold-stacked Ramform seismic vessels would be used for plastic collection, adding that the company is seeking external funding for a pilot test of the system.