HQ, a microplastics collection device, jointly developed by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Miura, was tested aboard the MOL car carrier EMERALD ACE, and following an audit, received the Innovation Endorsement certification from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK), which recognizes innovative initiatives in the maritime industry.
Microplastics (MP) are smaller plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter, resulting from discarded plastic in the ocean that is broken down by ultraviolet rays and wave action.
Innovation Endorsement is a program initiated by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai as a certification body for new value creation based on its “third-party certification, evaluation, and rating,” and is classified into three categories: Vessels, Products and Solutions, and Providers.
Photo credit: MOL
HQ was recognized for its capability to process seawater at all times, its easy handling, and the fact that it does not have a structure, which closes off and has no impact on existing systems. It acquired certification under the category of Products and Solutions, which covers equipment and software with innovative functions.
HQ was installed onboard the Emerald ACE on a trial basis in June 2022 to demonstrate its functions. After the trials confirmed the stability and effectiveness of the collection system, Miura decided to commercialize it, and began marketing efforts in July.
There is now growing demand among research institutions for data on the amount of MP floating in the sea, as this data can be used to investigate the movement of MPs and to measure the effectiveness of MP reduction activities being conducted in various fields. MOL not only collects MP but also will provide data on the composition, amount, location, and timing of MPs recovered by this device for use in this research.
Photo credit: iStock/ DisobeyArt