Top Page > Press Release 2023 > 'HQ,' a New Onboard Microplastic Collection Device that Can Constantly Gather Microplastics while Underway, Earns ClassNK Innovation Endorsement

'HQ,' a New Onboard Microplastic Collection Device that Can Constantly Gather Microplastics while Underway, Earns ClassNK Innovation Endorsement

November 21, 2023

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
Miura Co., Ltd.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo) and Miura Co., Ltd. (Miura; President: Daisuke Miyauchi; Headquarters: Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture) today announced that a microplastic (MP) (Note 1) collection device (Note 2), which the two companies have been co-developing, was tested aboard the MOL car carrier EMERALD ACE, and following an audit, received Innovation Endorsement certification (Note 4) from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK), which recognizes innovative initiatives in the maritime industry.

Innovation Endorsement certification logo

Innovation Endorsement is a program initiated by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai as a certification body for new value creation based on its "third-party certification, evaluation, and rating," and is classified into three categories: (1) Vessels, (2) Products and Solutions, and (3) Providers. HQ was recognized for its capability to process seawater at all times, its easy handling, and the fact that it does not have a structure, which closes off and has no impact on existing systems. It acquired certification under category (2) "Products and Solutions," which covers equipment and software with innovative functions.

HQ was installed onboard the Emerald ACE on a trial basis in June 2022 to demonstrate its functions. After the trials confirmed the stability and effectiveness of the collection system, Miura decided to commercialize it, and began marketing efforts in July.

There is now growing demand among research institutions for data on the amount of MP floating in the sea, as this data can be used to investigate the movement of MPs and to measure the effectiveness of MP reduction activities being conducted in various fields. MOL not only collects MP but also will provide data on the composition, amount, location, and timing of MPs recovered by this device for use in this research.

[MOL's initiatives on marine environmental conservation]
The MOL Group specifies social issues to prioritize through its business as "Sustainability Issues" (Note 5). The group contributes to "Conservation for Marine and global environment," which is designated as a sustainability issue by reducing MPs in the seas around the world.

[Miura's initiatives on marine environmental conservation]
Miura contributes to global marine environmental conservation through the development of its MP collection device, and contributes to the creation of an environment-friendly society and realizing a sustainable society through its business activities as the best partner for heat, water and the environment.

(Note 1)
The term "microplastics" are defined as smaller plastic particles less than 5mm in diameter, resulting from discarded plastic in the ocean that is broken down by ultraviolet rays and wave action.

(Note 2)
For more information on MOL and Miura's joint development of MP collection device, please refer to the following past press releases
November 24, 2020: MOL & Miura to Conduct Demonstration Test with Microplastic Collection Device Installed on Newbuilding Wood Chip Carrier - Effort Aims to Protect the Marine Environment Using Merchant Vessels –
March 24, 2021: Microplastic Collection Device to be Installed on Marusumi Paper's Newbuilding Wood Chip Carrier - Accelerating Ocean/Global Environmental Conservation Using Merchant Vessels -
July 5, 2022: Test Installation of New Microplastic Collection Device That Can Collect Microplastics Continuously While a Vessel is Underway -Protecting the Marine Environment in a Broad Range of Sea Areas by Collecting Microplastics-

(Note 3)
[Features of HQ]
HQ efficiently collects MPs without blocking the vessel's piping, by centrifugally separating MPs in seawater with a cyclone separator. It can now collect MPs at all times from the seawater line, which is constantly taking in water, and to treat all the backwash water from the ballast water treatment system, which was only partially treated with earlier collection devices. It can also be installed in the cooling seawater line, and since the treated seawater can be returned to the raw water line, there is almost no impact on the existing system. Daily operations on the vessel are simple, requiring only the cleaning of the MP collection strainer. In addition, durability and serviceability for the inner surface treatment of the cyclone separator have been improved by adopting a polyethylene lining with excellent corrosion resistance.

The HQ-100 and HQ-100B models were audited by ClassNK and acquired Innovation Endorsement certification.
HQ-100: Standard type with a rating of 100m3/h processing.
HQ-100B: Specification to add a boost pump to the MP correction line to ensure stable MP correction and minimize plant impact.

[Example of installation]
Applicable to various piping such as cooling seawater lines, backwash lines for ballast water treatment system, desalination ejector lines, etc.
Schematic view of installation flow of HQ on the vessel

(Note 4)
For details, please refer to the following press release from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai.
July 31, 2020: ClassNK launches "Innovation Endorsement" service for certifying innovative technology

(Note 5)
MOL Group 5 Sustainability Issues
MOL Group identifies "Sustainability Issues" (Materiality) as our key issues for sustainable growth with society through realization of the Group Vision.
We anticipate this initiative to contribute especially to the realization of "Environment -Conservation for Marine and global environment-" and "Innovation -Innovation for development in marine technology-".