A teenager from Ireland is one of the winners of the Google Science Fair for his invention to treat microplastics in the ocean.
Fion Ferreira, was among the 5,000 contestants from different countries who presented their experiments to Google. Other young people were also awarded from India, Turkey, Indonesia and Russia.
The young Irishman's project is really amazing, he designed a method to extract microplastics from water.
What is this project about?
Remember that microplastics are plastic fragments with a diameter of 5mm or less that are very difficult to filter with conventional water treatment systems.
These microplastics are already found by thousands of tons in the oceans, harming marine species and even human beings.
“I use magnetite powder (an iron ore) and used vegetable oil. The mixture of both forms a ferrofluid, which is basically a magnetic liquid. I decided to do a little test in which I added vegetable oil and magnetite powder to a water sample that contained microplastics. Microplastics adhere to the mixture, but do not mix with the water, because it repels the ferrofluid, which can be lifted with a magnet“Said the young man.
By applying this method, the final substances can be separated and reused, preventing microplastics from ending up in rivers and reaching the oceans.
1,000 tests were performed and the Fion method used was effective in 87% of the cases.