Photo: Image Courtesy: ecoSPEARS/Port of San Diego

Port of San Diego chooses ecoSPEARS clean water technology

As part of a two-year pilot project under the Port of San Diego’s Blue Economy Incubator, ecoSPEARS, a cleantech solutions company ushering in the carbonless future of environmental cleanup for toxic contaminants, will deploy NASA-developed technology to remove Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) from sediments in America’s Cup Harbor.

As explained, the primary goal will be to determine how much PCB mass the SPEARS technology will remove over a predetermined period.  

The SPEARS technology was first deployed in the port area on December 14, 2020.

Image Courtesy: ecoSPEARS/Port of San Diego

“Our Blue Economy Incubator program seeks groundbreaking ways to protect the environment and San Diego Bay. The results of this pilot project have the potential to demonstrate an innovative win-win approach to a long-time pollution problem in waters worldwide,” Commissioner Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, said.

“With a green approach that uses less emissions, energy, and water than traditional cleanup methods, this pilot project is a perfect complement to our efforts as a port to ensure San Diego Bay remains a vital resource.” 

“Areas like America’s Cup Harbor – where dredging and capping options are challenging – are prime candidates for our technology,” Serg Albino, CEO of ecoSPEARS, noted.

ecoSPEARS is the exclusive licensee of the NASA-developed Sorbent Polymer Extraction and Remediation System (SPEARS), a sustainable remediation technology to extract PCBs, dioxins, and other persistent organic pollutants from the environment. 

Specifically, the technology absorbs PCBs “like a sponge”, from contaminated sediment in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. SPEARS is a scalable mat-liner of plastic spikes filled with a proprietary reagent. They are deployed down into contaminated sediment or around challenging areas such as piers, harbors, pylons, or sensitive wetland areas where dredging may not be feasible.

A key differentiator between SPEARS and environmental dredging is that SPEARS does not destroy the aquatic habitat nor resuspend contaminants, according to the Californian port.

The port supports various pilot projects, like ecoSPEARS, through its Blue Economy Incubator that complement several environmental initiatives and often support regulatory requirements and programs already underway at the port.

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