fionn ferreira ferrofluid

Young Inventor, Fionn Ferreira, Uses Ferrofluid and Magnets to Tackle Microplastics Pollution in Water

23-year-old Fionn Ferreira from Ireland has devised a unique solution for microplastic pollution in water bodies using ferrofluid.

Fionn Ferreira, 23, is a young inventor, scientist, and conservationist from West Cork, Ireland.

Being a science enthusiast, his favorite pastimes included playing with LEGO and building tiny robots. And when it does not rain, he loves to go out and explore his surroundings. 

He enjoys kayaking and walking across the coastline of his remote location in Ireland. While walking across the coastline, he always noticed the plastic debris on the beach.

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Fionn was quite disgusted with the ugly sight of big plastic objects washing across the waters, sparking his interest in solving the plastic pollution problem. 

Upon further research, he was shocked to know that the big plastic objects break apart into very tiny bits, also known as microplastics, which end up getting ingested by living organisms.

fionn ferreira ferrofluid
Fionn Ferreira displaying plastic waste on a beach via his Instagram

When he researched more on microplastics, he found out that every individual on average today consumes a credit card’s worth of plastic or 5 grams every week through food, air, and water. 

The severity of the situation compelled a young 16-year-old Fionn to find a solution to this impending crisis, which also poses a major threat to our health.

Determined, the young lad devised an innovative solution to the problem via a unique ferrofluid mixture or magnetic liquid. 

Unlike other methods, Fionn’s process does not involve the usage of any chemicals or filters and produces zero waste.

Once mixed with water, the liquid has the ability to attract microplastic particles, separating them and making them easy to remove with magnets. This process leaves the water clean and can be used safely for drinking purposes.

This path-breaking innovation was recognized on a larger scale when he participated in various contests and competitions.

Fionn even went on to win the Google Science Fair in 2019, which brought his invention into media focus. 

Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. sponsored his concept, and with the help of his Footprint Coalition, his method has been researched and is constantly improved.

A prototype has been created that can eliminate up to 85% of microplastics in a single test. 

He is now in talks with the University of Texas to apply his technique to various water treatment facilities across the globe.

In 2020, Fionn also started two companies, Fionn & Co. LLC and the Green Journey Coalition Inc., to continue the environmentally sustainable work of making water bodies free from pollutants like microplastics. 

A graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, he is now pursuing a Master’s in Chemistry. 

Maya Bennett