STUDENTS from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) have won a national design award with a buoy that filters microplastics from the ocean.

The buoy, dubbed YUNA, was one of 27 nationwide winners of the James Dyson Award, as a select few will now be put forward for the international stage.

The 20 Engineering and Product Development students at UPV, who set up Yu Design in 2017, pocketed €2,200 in prize winnings.

The design itself contains a series of sieves that aim to strain microplastics from the oceans according to their size.

Valencian Students Win Design Award
AWARD-WINNER: YUNA was one of 27 nationwide winners of the James Dyson Award

Active carbon filters tiny microplastics particles not picked up by the sieves, before all waste is collected and reused.

“YUNA requires little energy to fulfil its function,” said Alice Ville, a UPV student, and member of the Yu Design team.

“Microplastics that travel through ocean currents reach the interior of the buoy, which moves with the currents like a weather vane.”

She added YUNA’s shape is modelled on a sunfish for ease of movement.

On October 17, Spain’s best designs will be selected to advance to the international stage of the James Dyson Award, where finalists can pocket €33,500.

The ultimate winner will be made known on November 14.

Whether they are selected or not, Alice Ville said her fellow Design Engineering and Product Development classmates at Yu Design have already made plans to commercialise their design.

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