Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mine Fuel From the Sea

Trawl the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, recycle the plastic
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

Build a large ship whose sole purpose is to circle endlessly through the North Pacific Gyre, trailing nets to filter out plastic.

The plastic is hauled aboard ship, and fed either to a conventional gasifier, a plasma arc gasifier, or a microwave gasifier, whichever is most cost effective.

Some of the syngas produced is used to fuel the ship, with the rest going to an onboard refinery, which turns it into a liquid fuel.

When the ship's reservoirs become full, a small oil tanker pulls up, and the synfuel is transfered over.

goldbb, Jun 01 2009

Wikipedia: Great Pacific Garbage Patch http://en.wikipedia...cific_Garbage_Patch
The plastic in question. Not enough to be visible on satellite photographs, but still a problem. [jutta, Jun 01 2009]

expedition leaving this month http://www.timesonl.../article6206498.ece
""We have a few technologies that can turn thin plastics into diesel fuel. Other technologies are much more hardcore, to deal with the hard plastics," says Mr Woodring, who hopes to run his vessels on the recycled fuel." [jutta, Jun 01 2009]

(?) Halfbakery: Anti-Plastic Submarine Anti-Plastic Submarine
[UnaBubba]'s take on the theme [zen_tom, Jun 02 2009]

django's Ocean Cleaning Robots Ocean_20Cleaning_20Robots
Aggregate the plastic, then ship it to shore [goldbb, Jun 02 2009]

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       There was a bunch of these ideas here a couple of months back, I'll have to find links. I remember many of them had to do with the HUGE glob of plastic that is floating in the Pacific.
MisterQED, Jun 01 2009

       Is this a repost?
WcW, Jun 01 2009

       //is to circle endlessly through the North Pacific Gyre//
The ship should be named "SS Gimble"
coprocephalous, Jun 02 2009

       Would be better if the ship converted the plastic into crude oil and deposited in the huge cavities that can be found under the various seas around the globe.
oniony, Jun 02 2009

       I guess I should have done my homework, and searched HB before posting :)   

       navel-gazer suggested an almost identical idea as an annotation to django's Ocean Cleaning Robots idea.   

       He overlooked the possibility of turning the syngas into liquid fuel (either into diesel, using the Fischer-Tropsch process, or into methane and dimethyl ether, in a catalytic processes), but it's not otherwise different.   

       Nonetheless, I still think that this idea merits being on it's own page.
goldbb, Jun 02 2009

       We constantly hear about environmental catastrophies, but nobody does any thing about them. Governments are paralized by political representatives who favor industry or who feel that cleaning up our mess is not the government's job. So, such reforms are in the hands of private individuals and groups who might even be able to make a buck out of it.
tonybe, Jan 15 2011


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