Greiz, March 2023. The "WaterJetClean+" research project was launched in the first quarter of 2023. The project partners aim to develop a mobile and flexibly deployable system for cleaning river courses. The system is intended to reduce waste pollution of water bodies before it reaches the oceans.
System for cleaning river courses to operate energy-self-sufficiently
The mobile and flexibly deployable river cleaning system will assist in removing floatable waste from rivers. This will be done with the help of various modules: A device for generating water jets will create a flow curtain under water, which will direct the waste in a predetermined direction to the next module, an energy-generating cleaning conveyor. It is designed with special textiles and will filter the waste from the water and transport it to the riverside. With the help of appropriately designed textiles this module will simultaneously generate the energy needed to operate the system from the flow of the running water - in other words, it will operate energy-self-sufficiently. On the riverside, waste separation takes place in a continuous process. The overall system can be flexibly adapted to the course of the river and is not an obstacle to fish or navigation. As a result of the project, the product vision of the "WaterJetCleaner +" will be prototypically realized as an energy-self-sufficiently cleaning system for continuous river cleaning of floatable waste.
Pollution of rivers is an increasing environmental problem
Cleaning rivers of plastic waste is particularly relevant for environmental protection: According to the WWF, there is more than 86 million tons of plastic waste in the water worldwide. According to estimates, 4.8 to 12 million tons are added to this every year, 80 percent of which is produced inland and carried into the world's oceans via river courses, according to WWF. At the same time, a lengthy decomposition process begins through mechanical disintegration and/or UV light. The further this decomposition process progresses, the more costly it becomes to get the plastic out of the water. It therefore makes sense to remove the waste from the water as early as possible, because decomposition products such as small plastic parts or micro plastics can already be detected in many aquatic organisms.
The project was initiated as part of the "CleanRiverSolutions" innovation network under the leadership of ZPVP Zentrum für Produkt-, Verfahrens- und Prozessinnovationen GmbH. Partners in the project are the Chair of Fluid Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, TITV Greiz, and the companies Hesseland GmbH, Bad Bibra, and Planex Technik in Textil GmbH, Ludwigshafen.
Photo: Project partner at the kick-off meeting, f.l.t.r.: Dr.-Ing. Stefan Hörner, Dr. Emeel Kerikous, Frank Gnisa, Heidi Schaarschmidt, Jörg Härtle, Dr. Raik Hesse, Dr. Yvonne Zimmermann, Lutz Stöß, Mario Spiewack
We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for funding the research project ZIM KOOP NKF (CleanRiverSolutions) 16KN087344 "WaterJetClean+", which is a grant from the federal budget.