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Advanced techniques to combat water pollution in Denmark

12 minute read
A Danish city conducted an experiment on the use of "waste-feeding" marches. To help the municipality contain solid waste pollution, Two arms tested a mechanism that filters solid waste from river water before it enters the ocean. The state has deployed "sulfur-inhaled" drones to monitor emission levels from ships in transit. globally Seas and oceans […]
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A Danish city conducted an experiment on the use of "waste-feeding" marches. To help the municipality contain solid waste pollution, Two arms tested a mechanism that filters solid waste from river water before it enters the ocean. The state has deployed "sulfur-inhaled" drones to monitor emission levels from ships in transit.

globally Seas and oceans are under increasing pressure from multiple urban and rural sources of pollution, In particular, solid and liquid waste from cities, fertilizers and manure residues from agricultural land, and atmospheric emissions caused by cargo ships. It is estimated that the world's seas and oceans receive every minute the equivalent of a full truck of plastic garbage. Due to the incorrect disposal of plastic coming from various land and sea sources.

When the world woke up some time ago to the spread of an estimated 50-75 trillion pieces of plastics and microplastics in the planet's oceans and seas, I recognize that plastic pollution is a major challenge, Involves environmental, social, economic and health risks, puts it along with other environmental stressors, Such as climate change, ecosystem degradation and resource depletion.

Nature alone cannot meet this challenge, Rather, it requires humans to take stronger measures that help in the systematic transition to a world free of plastic pollution. plastic, This material, which is commonly used due to its ease of manufacture and durability, It takes 600 years to decompose, which represents a great danger to living organisms in water bodies, In addition, marine plastic pollution threatens marine life and drinking water for nearly 40 million people.

Denmark a country surrounded by seas, oceans and rivers from almost all sides, The North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the east, in which maintaining the integrity of their environment is crucial, It finds itself fully concerned with the issue of pollution of its water environment, It takes this challenge very seriously, And find innovative approaches to it.

In diagnosing the problem, The authorities proceeded from the fact that the more water bodies are close to human activity, The plastic burden on them has increased. The beaches crowded with pioneers, and the banks of the rivers of cities, Filled with scattered plastic of all kinds, such as cigarette filters, water and food bottles, and others.

The municipality of Aarhus proceeded from the fact that waste is scattered in the sea, They disperse so quickly that they are difficult to collect, While the river stream makes it possible to systematically filter waste in a limited area without disturbing fish and birds. In a pilot project over the past 20 months, it has collected more than 100,000 pieces of waste from the city's stream, flowing into the sea. Using a robotic arm that stops floating garbage before it reaches the ocean, Then he collects them, Before depositing them in containers. This arm was designed by an environmental solutions company, It is a tower mounted on the ground, From it extends a barrier arm equipped with a conveyor belt and a filtration unit. The barrier automatically corresponds to the water level, so that the Nomination Unit continues to function, Filter water for foreign objects in the area between the surface of the water and 30 cm underneath. Experience has shown that most of the waste floats at this depth.

The solution includes built-in sensors, Find out when the robot needs to empty the waste. When discharged, Rise filtration unit, All waste is deposited in a trash can through the conveyor belt. The robot is also equipped with thermal cameras that detect whether sailors, surfers or swimmers are approaching it. The robot's barrier rises, allowing them to pass. The robot is powered either by built-in solar cells or by connecting it to the main grid. Thus, Following the success of the trial period, Local authorities decided to rent the device until February 2027.

Also in Aarhus, Another solution led by the Danish Ministry of Climate in collaboration with the San Francisco Estoari Institute (SFEI) was inspired by marine organisms. Such as sharks and jellyfish, It took the form of robots and air and water marches tasked with cleaning water from waste, You head by land, sea and air to search for waste, And pick them up and collect them.

Powered by a cloud data platform, and algorithms that recognize cigarette butts with 98% accuracy, A team of flying and glider drones was developed that would immediately photograph, analyze and share data on the amount and volume of garbage in a given place. Aircraft drones equipped with cameras, Guided by artificial intelligence, flying to identify waste in public waterways, It captures, processes and analyzes images instantly using machine learning algorithms. To provide insights into the amount of waste in the water. A floating robotic march called WasteShark can then move to contaminated areas to filter and collect debris. A single walk can collect up to 60 kilograms of waste, And then unloaded. Previously, this process was not carried out using drones. But after the latter combined with the sailing marches, Finding more garbage is a faster process. Air marches fly to provide assistance, A special lens is used for data collection and processing, You recognize pieces of plastic or other garbage, It then directs sailing (water) marches to pick them up.

But plastic is not the only type of pollution suffered by the seas. Oil spills, illegal dumping of hazardous and environmentally toxic pollutants, One of the most difficult issues for the authorities. It has become possible to use sailing marches to clean up oil spills, supported by drones that survey the water and recognize these spills, WasteShark cleans it up using a special filter.

But what about polluting gases?

It is known that most ships derive their energy from heavy fuel oil, which has a relatively high sulfur content compared to other fuels. Which causes sulfur emissions with the ship's exhaust gas in the form of sulfur dioxide (SO2) harmful to living organisms on the one hand, Which on the other hand contributes to acid rainfall.

Towards combating this type of pollution, The Danish Maritime Authority has carried out a pilot project using drones to verify ship emissions in the northern Great Belt region, Many large ships pass on their way to and from the Baltic Sea. The march provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) was equipped with the so-called "melon", They are sensors capable of "sulfur inhalation", measuring the level of its emissions from ships, If the level is high, fines shall be imposed on shipping companies that own such ships. Despite the widespread positive impact of these innovative measures in stopping pollution in general and plastic pollution in particular, Danes know that this kind of effort is not a complete solution to their waste problem; and that stopping the flow of plastic waste into the seas requires rethinking how products are packaged and sold and building better infrastructure for recycling.


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