Seawer is a self-supported hydroelectric power station that can generate electricity using seawater at the same time that it cleans up plastic waste. The huge structure separates plastic particles and fluids, recycles seawater and releases it back into the ocean. The structure receives energy from the sun, ocean and plastics and moves slowly from one polluted area to the next. The project received an honorable mention in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition.
Millions of tons of trash enter the ocean each year and cluster in particular areas of the world’s oceans. One of the most infamous plastic debris patches is located in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, commonly referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). This piece of “plastic soup” is twice the size of Texas and contains six times more plastic than plankton biomass. Seawer skyscraper was designed to tackle this issue while generating electricity at the same time.
South Korean designer Sung Jin Cho submitted the Seawer Skyscraper project as his proposal for this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition. The project includes a huge drainage hole 550 meters in diameter and 300 meters in depth that would be located at the heart of the GPGP. The structure consists of five layers of baleen filters that separate plastic particles and fluids. The particles are taken to an onboard recycling plant while purified seawater is stored in a large sedimentation tank at the bottom of the structure before it is released back into the ocean.