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Yvan Bourgnon’s Sail-boat consumes ocean’s plastic waste to fuel its sailing!

Posted By : Abhijeet Singh   |   Date : May 24 2021 12:04 PM

Yvan Bourgnon’s Sail-boat consumes ocean’s plastic waste to fuel its sailing!

Have you ever sailed far away into the blue oceans? Was there something fascinating that caught your attention while sailing? Most of us probably expect to spot a whale, taking a plunge into the air, or a group of dolphins marching along the waves, but unfortunately, for Yvan Bourgnon, the story was entirely different. 

Meet Yvan Bourgnon, a seasoned yacht racer, who was so fed up with seeing floating mats of plastic garbage in coastal waters, that he built an ocean-cleaning sailboat that is propelled (fuelled) by the garbage it collects.

Dr. Emmet Brown was notorious for having succeeded in replacing his plutonium generator with an ordinary waste generator at the end of the movie Back to the Future. The Manta, like the DeLorean in the movie, uses garbage to power an electric motor that propels the large catamaran with the help of the sails.

Yvan Bourgnon is a skilled Franco-Swiss skipper who started sailing with his parents at the age of eight for a round-the-world trip, where he found the ocean he would never leave.

Yves Bourgnon's ocean-cleaning boat, named Manta, is the first offering from his Globally Acclaimed SeaCleaners Project, and with a width of 56-meters, it is conferred to be one of the largest waste-cleaning boats in the world.

Here is how the Manta gets fuelled by the Waste!

Manta is equipped with conveyor belts that collect garbage as small as 10 millimeters between the three pontoons, which the Manta glides over, while three trawl nets floating behind (to a depth of 1 metre to avoid harm to sea life) add to the onboard array. 

This trash is then transported to a processing machine where crew people carry out the sorting process for the waste before pushing it inside an incinerator that shreds and melts the plastic – even using heat and gas – for power generation in a turbine.

With the 70% self-sufficiency in terms of energy, all thanks to solar panels on the decks and a wind turbine that harvests energy from the wind coming off the sails, Manta does the job of sailing around while pulling in 3 tonnes of waste per hour almost without ever having to return to harbour to refill or offload plastic.

“I have been travelling the oceans since I was 8 years old. I've seen them deteriorate, warm-up, acidify and become plasticised. I created the association The SeaCleaners to fight against this global scourge with the desire to create a revolutionary ship, a pioneer in the collection of plastic waste, the Manta. Today, The SeaCleaners are fighting on all fronts: awareness and prevention, the dissemination of scientific knowledge, the transition to a circular economy, and the collection of waste on land and at sea. With three watchwords to guide our approach: taking action, finding solutions, refusing resignation.” An excerpt from Yvan Bourgnon’s The SeaCleaners Project.

With The SeaCleaners, of which he is Chairman and Founder, he is taking on a new environmental challenge and wishes to develop an effective and concrete solution to combat plastic pollution in the seas: the Manta project.

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