This is how it works: two accompanying smaller boats will tow a net unfolding over two miles (3.2 km) that will collect plastic waste from the surface of the water and down to ten meters (32.8 feet) below it. The collected waste will then be transferred into the main vessel’s storage using conveyors. According to Hydrogen Central, the 150-meter (492 feet) ship features an innovative bow design that will facilitate this transfer.
For the next step, the waste will be converted into hydrogen on board the vessel and then stored in 20-foot (six meters) containers. Finally, the containers will be transferred onto smaller boats, using the main ship’s cranes, and then delivered to shore.
The hydrogen that’s obtained through this method is known as “greener than green” or “beyond green” hydrogen because of its additional benefit of cleaning out the plastic waste from the oceans. According to H2-Industries, the ship will be able to produce 100 kg (220 lbs) of hydrogen for every 600 kg (1,320 lbs) of waste.
Another innovation is the use of LOHC, a special liquid for carrying hydrogen, which binds it chemically so that it’s no longer volatile. The LOHC will also be used to produce electricity for the vessel’s motors.
The New York-based company also uses the LOHC technology for land-based applications – it will soon build an innovative waste-to-hydrogen hub in East Port Said in Egypt.
The two companies are currently working on the design of the future vessel and determining the optimal storage capacity. If it proves successful, the technology could later be implemented on a wider scale in the maritime industry.