TAKING ACTION

Concrete solutions against pollution

Reducing marine plastic pollution through innovative technology. This is The SeaCleaners technical hub’s mission, with the support of a pool of industrial and academic partners.

Rising up to the challenge

Under the banner of MANTA INNOVATION, the technical team develops a range of groundbreaking solutions against plastic pollution among which a bold and original project: the Manta. This first-of-a-kind processing ship is designed to collect, treat and repurpose large volumes of floating plastic debris present in highly polluted waters, along the coasts, in estuaries and in the mouths of large rivers.

The Manta will also host other scientific missions on board, and when in port will hold educational and learning conferences for the general public. A showcase for innovative technological solutions for waste management and repurposing, and for clean shipping technologies for “green ships” and “smart ships”, it will serve as a lever to accelerate the deployment of the circular economy in its areas of operation.

Explore the Manta

The Manta, a giant of the seas against pollution

Collection systems

Objective of 5 to 10,000 tonnes per year.

The Manta extracts both floating macro-waste and smaller debris from 10 millimetres upwards and up to one metre deep.

Depending on the density and closeness of the layers of waste, the Manta can collect between 1 to 3 tonnes of waste per hour, with the objective of collecting 5 to 10,000 tonnes per year. It can operate for up to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Manta is equipped with four complementary collection systems:

- Waste-collecting conveyors, which bring the waste on board.
- Three floatable collection systems, which have a collection span of 46 metres, and pick up surface waste.
- Two small, multi-purpose collection boats, or “Mobulas,” which can pick up both micro- and macro-plastic waste from the shallowest and narrowest parts of the ocean that the Manta can’t get to.
- Two lateral cranes, which pull out the largest pieces of floating debris from the water.

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Waste Recycling

90% of waste processed at sea.

The Manta is the first self-sufficient workboat capable of processing 90 to 95% of the collected plastic waste whilst at sea. This is all thanks an innovative, eco-friendly system, which consists of:

- A waste sorting unit: this manually separates the waste, according to its type, and packages it in a way that boosts its energy efficiency.
- A waste-to-energy conversion unit: this converts the collected waste into electricity through the process of pyrolysis which, in turn, powers all of the Manta’s electrical equipment. This eco-friendly method emits hardly any CO2 or pollutants into the air.

Nothing is discarded during this process. All the collected waste is converted into useful components, in line with the principles of a circular economy.

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Storage Capacities

200 m3 of storage for of all types of waste.

The Manta’s primary purpose is converting waste into energy, as opposed to storing it, as this increases the ship’s weight and energy consumption.

The waste that isn’t immediately repurposed is packaged into big bags and stored on the deck or the hulls, before it is eventually converted into energy.

The storage capacity for the plastic waste is 140 m3 (around 50 tonnes). In addition to this, there are two 33 m3 containers: one for drift nets and one for dangerous waste.

In rare cases where the waste isn’t converted into energy, it is entrusted to local waste treatment or recycling plants during stopovers.

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Eco‑conception

100% eco-conscious.

We have carried out a complete Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the Manta: we assessed the environmental impact associated with all the stages of the boat's life cycle. This includes everything from the first stage of the Manta’s assembly (the extraction of necessary resources), all the way to the last stage of its life cycle. The LCA enabled us to determine the highest quality, most eco-friendly, and most recyclable materials, as well as those with the lowest carbon footprint.

As a result, the hulls of the Manta will be made of 95% recyclable steel and the superstructure, with a cabin and wheelhouse, will be made of 100% recyclable aluminium.

This assessment also made it possible to find the right balance between the boat’s materials and its weight, ensuring that the Manta is as energy-efficient as possible.

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Autonomy of action

Target: 50 to 75% energy autonomy.

The Manta can operate without using fossil fuels between 50% to 75% of the time, making it the first workboat to have such a high level of energy self-sufficiency.
In order to minimise its energy consumption and carbon footprint, the sails and riggings are its preferred means of propulsion.

Due to its high energy independence, the boat also has an almost unlimited range, which allows it to rapidly reach intervention zones all over the world. These are typically mouths and estuaries of great rivers where the layers of waste are concentrated, or areas hit by climate hazards and/or natural disasters.

Its embedded clean shipping technologies make the Manta a model of "green ship" and "smart ship".

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Green energy

500 kW of clean energy.

The Manta has several pieces of on-board equipment designed to generate renewable energy, which enables it to minimise its environmental footprint and consumption of fossil fuels, and simultaneously increase its energy self-sufficiency:

Two wind turbines (100kW)

Almost 500m² of photovoltaic solar panels (100 kWp)

Two hydrogenerators (100 kW) by means of a propeller driven by the sail-powered forward movement of the boat

The waste-to-energy conversion unit (100 kW)

To comply with regulatory requirements, the Manta has 2 diesel motors on-board in order to facilitate low-speed manoeuvres and to guarantee the safety of the crew.

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Hybrid propulsion

Top speed of 12+ knots.

The Manta is fitted with a hybrid propulsion system, combining automated rigging from the DynaRig model, and propeller propulsion units driven by electric motors.

The electricity needed to power the rigging and electric motors is supplied by the on-board equipment designed to generate renewable energy, the waste-to-energy conversion unit and conventional generators.

Sailing is the Manta’s preferred mode of transport. The hybrid propulsion system allows manoeuvring at low speed for sensitive operations (such as the entry to and exit from ports), as well as waste collections, which are carried out at 2 or 3 knots, all whilst maintaining a reduced ecological footprint.

Agile and energy-efficient, the Manta can reach a top speed of over 12 knots.

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Scientific laboratories

10 scientists on-board.

The Manta is a place of work for institutional research teams from all over the world, with the purpose of advancing the knowledge of the scientific community in the fields of geolocation, quantification and the characterisation of plastic waste.

6 to 10 scientists at a time can come aboard the Manta for on-board assignments. Whilst at sea, they’ll have oceanographic equipment and four research spaces at their disposal: two research labs, a study room and an analysis room.

The data collected will be completely accessible via Open data.

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Educational platform

60 m² conference space for up to 80 people.

Also hailed as an ambassador boat for the protection and decontamination of oceans, the Manta is open to the public during on-land stopovers to foster individual and collective action in support of marine conservation.

The 60 m² conference room on-board the Manta can accommodate up to 80 people, providing a space to raise awareness about marine conservation amongst the general public.

The Manta also serves as a platform that presents a tangible example of effective technological solutions that, in turn, aid in the development of circular economy systems at a local level. Economic stakeholders and local authorities will have the opportunity to visit the Manta and discover its waste repurposing unit, the Mobulas, its collection systems, its scientific labs, etc.

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01 Collector mats
02 Floatables collection systems
03 Trawling gantry crane
04 Mobula 8
05 Mobula 10
01 Waste sorting unit
02 Waste-to-energy conversion unit
01 Sorting unit storage area
02 Outdoor storage area
03 Containers for waste-to-energy conversion
04 Container for waste storage
01 Hulls
02 Superstructure
03 Riggings
04 Wind turbines
05 Solar panels
06 Hydro-generators
07 Waste-to-energy conversion unit
08 Propulsion units
01 Wheelhouse
02 Riggings
03 Propulsion units
04 Engines
01 Fixes solar panels
02 Retractable wings equipped with solar panels
03 Wind turbines
04 Hydrogenerators
01 Riggings
02 Propulsion units
03 Engines
01 Scientific containers
02 Analysis room
03 Work room
01 Conference room
02 Sundeck
01 Collector mats
02 Floatables collection systems
03 Trawling gantry crane
04 Mobula 8
05 Mobula 10
01 Waste sorting unit
02 Waste-to-energy conversion unit
01 Sorting unit storage area
02 Outdoor storage area
03 Containers for waste-to-energy conversion
04 Container for waste storage
01 Hulls
02 Superstructure
03 Riggings
04 Wind turbines
05 Solar panels
06 Hydro-generators
07 Waste-to-energy conversion unit
08 Propulsion units
01 Wheelhouse
02 Riggings
03 Propulsion units
04 Engines
01 Fixes solar panels
02 Retractable wings equipped with solar panels
03 Wind turbines
04 Hydrogenerators
01 Riggings
02 Propulsion units
03 Engines
01 Scientific containers
02 Analysis room
03 Work room
01 Conference room
02 Sundeck

Deck 1

Batteries
Electric motors of the propulsion units
Waste water treatment
Freshwater production
Technical premises
Rudders
Propellers (submerged)

_ _ _ _

Dimensions of the Manta:
Height: 62 m
Width: 26 m (46 m with outriggers)
Length: 56.5 m
Weight: 1,800 tons

Deck 2

Rafts for MOBULAs 8 and 10
Storage area for navigational waste
Food storage area and cold storage
Sports hall
Technical premises
Generating sets

Deck 3

Collectors
Wind turbines
Sorting and preparation plant for collected waste
Waste-to-energy conversion unit
Conference room
Analysis office and scientific laboratories
Hydro-generators (submerged)
Waste storage area
Storage containers for hazardous waste and large waste (drift nets)
Gantries for outriggers and haling floatable collections systems
Infirmary
Technical premises

Deck 4

Wheelhouse
Gantries for side outriggers and floatable collections systems
Outdoor waste storage area
Rescue boat
Diving boat
Cranes
Cabins
Kitchen
Cafeteria & Mess

Deck 5

Automated rigging
Fixed solar panels
Retractable wings equipped with solar panels
Sundeck

Acting where the need is

The Manta is a deep-sea boat with coastal action. This map shows the initial zones of activity of the Manta, which will intervene in priority in estuaries and at the mouths of the most polluted rivers. Each interactive pin displays the name of the river concerned, the country concerned and an average plastic pollution in tons per year.

The first missions of the Manta should take place in South-East Asia.

The SeaCleaners, technology at the service of the environment

The technical hub is also developing groundbreaking technological solutions which can serve all actors working to repurpose plastic and mitigate pollution – not only in water but also on land. Solutions to collect, treat and repurpose plastic waste; and technological solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of marine vessels so they can be classified as “green ships”

CleanersLab

This prototype boat, which was designed as a test platform, has been completely adapted by Manta Innovation for The SeaCleaners. The CleanersLab was created to test the collection conveyor belt technology that will be installed on the Manta. It opened in 2019 and allowed many tests to be carried out in 2020.

Floatable collection systems

Manta Innovation and its partner Payote Conseils are developing floatable collection systems that can collect debris floating on the surface and up to approximately 1m below the surface.

Manta Innovation’s developments mainly aim to reduce the reach of the floatable collection systems and set up devices (escape ports, etc.) that help avoid capturing marine life. Tests are already being carried out on nets that are a quarter of the size of the ones to be used on the Manta.

The Mobulas

To collect floating waste in areas or conditions that are unsuitable for the Manta (because of problems with size, depth or manoeuvrability), Manta Innovation and its partner EFINOR Sea Cleaner are developing two small versatile boats that can collect debris, smaller waste and oils:

• The Mobula 8, which can adapt to calm, protected waters such as ports, rivers, lakes, etc.
• The Mobula 10, which can adapt to coastal waters and rivers with strong currents, etc.

As with the Manta, in-depth life cycle and techno-economic analyses were carried out with Altran teams to minimise the environmental footprint and operational costs of these boats.

Preparing the samples

Plastic waste must be processed so that it can be effectively converted into energy.

First, the waste is sorted (organic, metallic and glass waste is removed) and then crushed and dried.

At this stage, it is possible to sustainably store the waste onboard the vessel, or to send it straight to the onboard waste-to-energy conversion unit.

The vessel’s reduced environmental footprint

To reduce our carbon footprint, we made sure that the Manta is as green as possible (after all, it was created to clean up the ocean).

First, we completed a full life cycle analysis (LCA) of the Manta to make the best design choices. For example, we chose the best materials for the environment on a short, medium and long-term basis.

When making decisions, we are also careful to find a good balance between the vessel’s operational requirements and minimising energy consumption.

Our priority is reducing weight, using only the sails or the sails and engine together, and producing renewable energy – and we choose the most suitable technology with the smallest possible carbon footprint.

The vessel’s energy sources

Because the Manta is a wind-powered sailboat, it can significantly reduce its fossil fuel consumption and therefore its polluting/greenhouse gas emissions.

Like all vessels, the Manta is equipped with diesel engines for producing electrical energy. However, thanks to its equipment for producing renewable electricity, these engines are used as little as possible, making the Manta a truly “green ship”:

• The wind turbines can work both day and night
• The hydro generators are turned on as soon as the vessel’s sails are open
• The solar photovoltaic panels produce power throughout the day

The onboard conversion of waste into energy also means electricity is produced without creating a large carbon footprint.

Finally, we recover as much residual (or “waste”) heat as possible. This waste heat (from the diesel engines, waste-to-energy conversion unit, etc.) is captured so it can be reused in the heating and cooling process and to produce electricity.

The onboard power management system

The energy we produce is precious. So, to get the most out of the different ways of producing electricity and use them sparingly, an automated power management system (PMS) is used, making the Manta a truly “smart ship”.

This system allows certain non-critical features to be automatically turned off, and even suggests that the crew offload the system by turning off certain pieces of equipment.

Because it is linked to a routing system that uses weather data, the PMS offers the possibility of following routes that will minimise fossil fuel consumption and/or maximise production of renewable energy.

Finally, batteries are used to smooth out any discrepancies between energy production and requirements, to store electrical energy when there is a surplus and, in short, to reduce diesel consumption.

Launch of the Manta in 2024!

Why remove floating marine waste?

Because action speaks louder than words

The Manta is designed to collect floating marine debris in zones where it collects in large volumes, before it disperses and permanently enters the marine ecosystem. A virtuous circle will ensue: by restoring the ecosystems and local economies damaged by plastic pollution it will demonstrate fast, visible results which will in turn increase awareness, mobilise public authorities, private companies, communities and individuals.

Because the capabilities exist and need to be shared

The Manta will be an ambassador vessel, showcasing innovative, efficient, viable and easily replicated technologies to collect and repurpose plastic waste. The capabilities on board will be made available to local stakeholders so that they can in turn contribute to the circular economy in their own country.

Because several activities can be located in one place

The Manta will be a pioneering scientific platform for observation and research into plastic pollution, as well as a learning centre to raise awareness among the general public and communities directly affected by the problem.

EPISODE #1 - THE MANTA BOAT & ITS 4 MISSIONS

For this first episode, Frederic Silvert, Technical Director at Manta Innovation is telling us about the 4 missions of the Manta, and how our technical team succeeded in adapting the final design of the boat to great expectations.
Find all our episodes on our YouTube channel!

Technical Consortium

The result of 3 years of Research and Development, the Manta mobilized a technical consortium of 17 industrial partners and 5 research laboratories for its design, including world leaders in their field. Since 2017, 58 engineers, technicians and researchers have worked more than 20,000 hours to bring the Manta’s vision to fruition. Each of the ship’s “technological bricks” is the result of a synergy of unique know-how.

Waste-to-energy unit

Automated rigs

Collection systems

On-board energy management system

Naval architecture

Collection boats (Mobulas)

Hydrogenerators

Life Cycle Analysis / Technical-economic studies

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