The “Bubble Barrier” was developed as an easy way to stop plastic pollution flowing from the waterway into the ocean. An air compressor sends air through a tube with a running hole running continuously at the bottom of the canal, creating a stream of bubble that recognizes waste and directs it to the trapping system.
It traps 86% of the vegetation that will flow into the IJssel River and cross the North Sea, according to Philip Ehrhorn, founder and chief technology officer of the Great Bubble Barrier, the Dutch company overseeing the process.
Employed by Amsterdam city officials and the local water authority, the Bubble Barrier was installed in October 2019 in less than five hours.
Ehrhorn argues that the idea is to hold plastic without physical barriers such as a net or barrier blocking the river, which could damage water life or prevent shipping.
The grass is lifted up, and guided as a catchment system.
To reduce the noise, the Compressor is 50 meters from the barrier, and the rechargeable tank, which Amsterdam converts its energy capacity.
Ehrhorn says that while the bubble wrap can hold plastic up to 1 millimeter in size, the trap system will hold only 10 millimeters and more. The small flow of water can hold it now, but over time it will pass the restriction system, according to Ehrhorn. He adds that a group of other independents are currently examining back movements in the anti-bubble environment.
‘Like a Jacuzzi’
With a background in shipbuilding and marine engineering, Ehrhorn, from Germany, conceived a Bubble Barrier after spending half a school year abroad in Australia, studying environmental engineering. At a waste disposal clinic, he saw how oxygen is used to break down organisms.
“It’s like a jacuzzi,” Ehrhorn says. “What I found was that some of the plastic people who ran to the toilet were collecting on one side.” This discovery led to his writing on the technology behind the Bubble Barrier.
Ehrhorn did not know that three Dutch women were working on the same idea in Amsterdam. Anne Marieke Eveleens, Saskia Studer and Francis Zoet were at the bar one evening talking about plastic pollution when they looked and reflected on their beer glasses and encouraged.
By default, a friend of Ehrhorn’s found their video clip for a competition calling for the removal of plastic around.
“We teamed up and realized we had the same vision and purpose,” Ehrhorn recalls. “So I took my papers and moved to the Netherlands the next day.” Together, the four men changed the simple idea of becoming a full-fledged Bubble Barrier pilot on Amsterdam’s River IJssel.
As a member of the Plastic Pollution Emissions Working Group, a group of self-described “scientists, lawyers and conservation workers,” Borrelle also examined the bubble barrier.
“It’s something we really enjoy looking at, especially because other types of barriers put in place around the water can be a minor problem in the way they interact with environmental work and moving animals and the system, ”he says.
Borrelle has some backgrounds on technology; he questioned how the system would work for the oceans and developing economies, as well as the pumping that would require ongoing fire and periodic repairs, and said the competition would not lift large plastics. .
“Also, if you have a large traffic flow, that will disrupt the plastic collection,” Borrelle says, adding that the boat reports a barrier that can drag plastic.
“There are some weaknesses, but as far as I can see, it is an important part of our work environment to fix the environmentally friendly plastic,” he says. “The thing about plastic pollution is that there’s no way to fix it. Once it’s in the environment, it’s about trying to access it wherever you can.”
For the time being, members of a major consortium working with the Amsterdam Water Authority and the Plastic Soup Foundation NGO to investigate the nature of plastic seizures and identify its sources, to help develop new policies on plastic waste.
Amsterdam’s water capacity makes the 1.8-meter by 2-meter basin catch water three times a week. The contents of the garbage can are sent for sorting, and the appropriate items are recycled. Ehrhorn says that this contagious disease means they have not been able to measure how plastic the Year of the Controversy holds to date.
The project, which is for profit, plans to install anti-bubble systems across the Netherlands, Portugal and Indonesia. He says the deposit and power consumption depends on its location in the stream.
In addition to keeping plastic out of our oceans, the system can help change attitudes. Because of the disadvantages of this type of system, which is common for passers-by, Ehrhorn believes it helps people recognize the amount of waste that ends up in our waterways; in this way, the barrier also acts as an educational device to prevent poisoning and waste disposal.
He says, “It focuses on waste that will flow invisible and even under water,” “It literally brings up, [that] this is another way never seen. ”