Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and team Eco Trinity (Note 1), led by Novelgen Co., Ltd. announced the successful production of carbon products-a potential source of energy comparable to wood pellets-from microplastics and microalgae (Note 2), collected by a microplastic collection device installed on MOL-operated vessel.
The success of this demonstration shows the potential use of microplastics as an energy resource, and could encourage the collection of microplastics from the ocean to increase production of carbon materials and in turn expand the energy supply.
For the next generation living on Earth, the MOL Group will work collaboratively and creatively with its partners and stakeholders to effectively address environmental issues.
The group will continue to provide solutions to critical problems such as preservation of the marine environment, protection of biodiversity, and prevention of air pollution, making a concerted effort to ensure the sustainable development of society and conserving the natural environment. In the company’s words, “From the blue oceans, we sustain people’s lives and ensure a prosperous future.”
Eco Trinity works toward practical application of systems that generate secure, safe energy, water, and food resources with decentralized autonomous waste treatment devices and microplastic removal technology at the core.
(Note 1) An interdisciplinary team participating in Japan Foundation-promoted Project “Ikkaku,” which aims to address the issue of marine waste.
(Note 2) Demonstration test method and results
Microplastics and microalgae are mixed and heated to 300oC for a certain period of time to decompose the organic matter and produce carbon products. When the carbon product gained through this demonstration test was subjected to calorific value analysis, the results showed a calorific value of 17.1MJ/kg (1 megajoule (MJ) is about 239 kilo calories), the same level as wood pellets.