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INESC TEC collaborates on solution for oil spills at sea

Using native microorganisms that degrade oil is the solution proposed by the new European project SpilLess, coordinated by the University of Porto’s Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), which also features INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS).

According to CIIMAR researchers, the goal of project SpilLess - First-line response to oil spills based on native microorganism cooperation - “is to produce native microorganisms on a large scale to remove contaminants (bioremediation), combined with a mixture of nutrients that biologically stimulate (rapid growth) these microorganisms.”

The project will also feature unmanned autonomous vehicles, such as drones or submarines, which will transport and release the microorganisms in affected areas.

According to the project leader, the technology presents a new, fast, efficient and low-cost way of combating these occurrences. The technology can “operate under unfavourable and severe weather conditions with low human intervention. This new approach can even be used as a first line response to oil spills associated with accidents with ships, oil rigs, ports or other industrial complexes.

This initiative is funded by the European Union through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The consortium includes CIIMAR, INESC TEC, the University of Vigo, and the companies ACSM, Biotrendand MARLO.

INESC TEC, March 2017



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