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Filtering scams like the whales

An innovative and efficient filter, with a self-cleaning mechanism, imitates the filtering action that occurs in the mouth cavity of sperm whales.

Mzifa (filter system) of the Leviathan of the Mzifums. Photo: shutterstock
Mziffa (filter system) of Leviathan HmzipoA. Photo: shutterstock

By: Yael Halfman Cohen

Whales have already been a source of biomimetic innovation. Previously we reported on Efficient wind turbines Imitating the structure of the humpback whale fin. This time we will report on innovation in the field of filtration technologies.

The filter feeders are animals that pass a current of water through their body and extract from it the food they need. The largest of the food filters is the blue whale, which feeds by swimming with its mouth open and catching food found in the water, such as plankton, crabs and fish. Whales filter food and are required to separate the water from the food, so that the water is returned to the sea while only the food is left in their mouths. For this purpose, these whales are equipped with a system of filtering combs, called filters, and the whales themselves are called The sperm whales. The mezips are horn plates that are perpendicular to the body in two rows, and grow out of the folds of the palate instead of teeth. In each column there are about XNUMX split ends. Whales swallow a large amount of water with food. Later they close the palate and push the water with the tongue towards the mouth. The water passes through the "filter combs" but the food remains in the oral cavity. This action also allows cleaning the mouthpieces from solids that got stuck in them while introducing the water into the oral cavity, so that they can continue the filtering process without interruption. in the attached video Link An illustration of this filtration process can be seen in wastewater. The filter works in a similar way to the filtering process in Leviathan counterfeits. Water flows through the filter but the solids (organic components, sand, gravel, oils) get stuck in the combs. Before these could close the filter, two actions take place:


  1. With the help of pressurized spraying, the solids are removed from the filter.
  2. With the help of spraying under additional pressure, the solids are transported out of the filter area.

The attached video Link Demonstrates how the filter works.

For the efficient filter system, a self-cleaning mechanism, which allows separation up to 25 microns without the use of chemicals. This is the result of research and imitation of the natural filtering process that occurs in the oral cavity of minke whales.

The waste water filtration system will be integrated into the infrastructure of the largest natural gas project in Australia on Barrow Island, within which four seawater desalination plants will be built, in which the filters will be integrated that enable the return of water without chemicals, using less energy compared to existing solutions, and in order to preserve the marine ecosystem in the area.

One response

  1. Sea water can be filtered, in power plants or desalination. And the "waste" can be fermented to produce natural gas and diesel.

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