Each year, up to 8 million metric tons of plastic enters our planet's oceans. These plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some measuring a fraction of a millimeter, and enter the food chain and eventually the seafood we eat. That contamination can lead to illnesses like cancer. Along with risks to human health, floating plastic also contributes to oceanic dead zones.
Moe Momayez, associate professor of MGE, has taken on this challenge, inventing a hydrocyclone that can separate plastics from water. It is designed to filter plastic pieces smaller than five millimeters in size while returning nutrients like plankton back to the ocean.