Positive Results from Trials of Ocean-Cleaning Device

Vice President of Global Affairs and Executive Director of the Centre for Blue Economy and Innovation at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Ambassador Joachim Schmillen reported on the results. (Credit: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica,
Monday March 4, 2019
– The
Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) is reporting positive results from the
trials of the prototype of its ocean-cleaning device dubbed ‘Jambin’.

An innovation out of the CMU’s recently established
Centre for Blue Economy and Innovation, the device is designed to collect debris
from the sea.

“It is a reinforced household bin; a floating
device, which is attached to a dock or jetty in the sea around the CMU,”
explained Vice President of Global Affairs and Executive Director of the Blue
Economy centre, Ambassador Joachim Schmillen. “In our case, we are using an air
pump and PVC pipes to produce a suction effect, so that every piece of floating
debris…around the waste bin will be sucked in.”

The bin is partially submerged and contains a mesh
to catch debris, which can then be emptied once full.

On February 22, in a test of the efficacy of the
air pump to produce sufficient eddy to pull water into the bin, the Jambin
prototype caught its first piece of debris.

Ambassador Schmillen said that on that day, there
were very harsh wind conditions and high waves around the CMU and in the marina
(Royal Jamaica Yacht Club) “but the prototype sucked in the debris against the
conditions”.

“The challenge of wind and waves is not so
difficult. It is not a technical problem in itself; it is because of the
resistance level of the material. The biggest challenge we have at the moment
is finding the material that can, for a long time, withstand the harsh
conditions of the sea. We would like to use material like fibreglass to construct
a more resistant waste bin,” he said.

The Jambin technology was adapted from the ‘Seabin’
invented in New Zealand to remove debris, particularly plastic bottles, from
the sea. Ambassador Schmillen noted, however, that the local innovation goes
further.

“The original ‘Seabin’ uses a water pump, but we
are using an air pump because we would also like to use Jambin in our oyster
project later. The air pump is producing something called nanobubbles, which
are enriching the water around it with oxygen, and this stimulates sea life,”
he explained.

More than 30,000 oysters will be used to clean and
improve the water quality of the Kingston Harbour under a pilot project being
undertaken by the CMU Centre for Blue Economy and Innovation.

Oysters are natural purifiers and a single adult
oyster can cleanse about 50 gallons of water per day.

Since 2014, oysters have been employed to rebuild oyster reefs in the waters surrounding New York City.

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