Innovative solutions, marine, biological or technological, are put in place to save the blue gold of our planet: water.
The fight against water pollution is at the heart of global concerns. How to ensure the 7,5 billion Earthlings (10 billion by 2050) cleaner oceans and access to drinking water? Here are some of the innovations that could preserve this vital resource for humanity.
A boat to clean the oceans
Let's start with the largest body of water in the world and also the most affected by pollution: the ocean. Remember we had met the Manta, a cleaning catamaran who was preparing for his great crusade in 2024. This boat-factory, more than 75% autonomous, which collects and processes the waste present in the oceans, will soon be crossing the seas. Ten thousand tons of plastic should thus fall in its nets each year. The final version of the boat, imagined by the association The SeaCleaners of the navigator Yvan Bourgnon, was presented at the end of January.
The Manta will explore the polluted waters independently. Thanks to the 1500 m² of sails installed on automated rigs and its electric propulsion engines. Two wind turbines, hydro-generators and solar panels will produce the necessary electricity. Furthermore, the collected waste will be transformed into energy to power this entire installation. It will also serve as a scientific laboratory for the analysis of plastic pollution in the oceans and as an educational platform open to the general public.
This giant of the seas will begin its journey with the most polluted bodies of water on the globe, such as the rivers of Southeast Asia or Indonesia.
Microalgae to decontaminate industrial water
Let's move from oceans to continents. What if industrial effluents were decontaminated? This is now possible thanks to microalgae that reduce the nitrogen concentration in the water by 98% in just 24 hours ! And that's good, because the effluents from industry are highly loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus.
It's over there bioremediation, studied by the company Egis in Loire-Atlantique, that this microscopic vegetation is activated to (almost) completely eliminate residues harmful to health. How's it going ? It is with the nitrogen and carbon dioxide released in the effluents that microalgae make their lunch. They then produce, by photosynthesis, a recoverable biomass rich in amino acids and proteins. This new resource could be used in particular for animal feed or green chemistry.
A tool to monitor water quality in 90 minutes
The fight against water pollution is also played out at the local level to preserve public health. And here the motto is: "prevention is better than cure".
Ninety minutes! This is the time it will take to anticipate the risks of water pollution. A new generation sampling kit that can be used in all aquatic environments has been designed to detect possible contamination by bacteria or microalgae. This tool will, for example, make it possible to identify the presence of salmonella in an aquaculture operation and thus prevent a potential health risk.
La start-up Microbia, at the origin of this innovation, also offers personalized support to alert on the arrival of toxic microalgae and predict the end of contamination.
So many solutions that seem to indicate the emergence of a collective consciousness on the importance of healthy water for our planet… and its inhabitants.
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