This month Latvia-based technological start-up PurOceans Technology in cooperation with the Freeport of Riga Authority and the support of SIA “OVI” is testing an innovative, environmentally friendly method for collecting historical pollution in the port water area in Sarkandaugava.
A team of young scientists who have won several start-up competitions and hackathons (Prototron, CleanWater Hackathon and Hack DigitalSea'21) have invented a solution for non-invasive soil (of lakes, rivers, seas and oceans) cleaning from oil sludge, microplastics, chemicals and other pollutants. The solution is based on the so-called flotation method, which does not involve chemicals, electrical impulses or dredging, thus reducing damage to flora and fauna. According to the method, a funnel is submerged up to the riverbed, with the help of which at a certain air pressure oily sludge is lifted, separated from the ground and sand, and collected in closed tanks, preventing its further spreading into the environment, The technology has been pre-validated and is up to 98% efficient in trials.
“This is one of the ways in which the port, with its infrastructure and specialists, can encourage the testing of new technologies, helping young scientists to develop and grow. If we achieve a successful result together, it will benefit both us as a port where, as in this case, the environment is cleaned, and young entrepreneurs, for whom we have become the first client - a partner. Now they can refer to us internationally promoting their idea globally”, said Viesturs Zeps, Chairman of the Freeport of Riga Board. “Such cooperation illustrates how the port can make a good contribution to the overall Latvian innovation ecosystem through its operation,” emphasized V. Zeps.
“The territory of Sarkandaugava has historically been used for storage and handling of oil products. Pollution by oil products in Sarkandaugava developed in the 1960-ies and 1970-ies of the 20th century, when the said territory was managed by the Soviet army,” commented Vilis Avotiņš, Head of the Environment Department of the Freeport of Riga Authority, addressing the topicality of the historically polluted site remediation. Significant remediation and improvement works of the common infrastructure, purifying groundwater from historical pollution, have been completed by 2017 within the framework of the Latvian-Swiss remediation project. At the same time, in the Daugava river arm saturated with oil products, small oil slicks, emerging from the riverbed due to decay of organic substances or due to change of ground water level after heavy rains, can be seen on the water surface. Those oil pollutants are collected and utilized by the SIA Riga Brivostas Flote in compliance with the authorization by the Freeport of Riga Authority.
Information for media
- liene.ozola [at] rop.lv, +371 670 308 53
- Freeport of Riga Authority
- 12 Kalpaka blvd, Riga, Latvia, LV-1010