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Recycling plant on the high seas

Shredding machine and briquetting press are used to fulfill the tightened criteria of the ship "Blue Angel"

For the construction of the research ship "MARIA S. MERIAN", the clients had formulated strict ecological specifications. The operation of the ice edge research vessel operated by the shipping company Briese located in Leer is therefore particularly environmentally friendly. That's why the ship was awarded the "Blue Angel" environmental seal in 2006. The cornerstones of this seal of quality are:

a) The ship construction has to be executed so cleverly that no fuel tank is located directly on the outer skin and on the double floor. Thus, the risk of oil leakage in the event of damage to the hull due to e.g. Iceberg impact is reduced to a minimum.

b) All external hydraulic power units have to be operated with biocompatible oil to avoid damage in case of leakage in a sensitive environment.

c) All cooling systems have to be operated with a special coolant that does not attack the ozone layer.

In 2010, the criteria for the "Blue Angel" were further tightened: the burning of packaging materials at sea was prohibited. All waste must be separated on board, collected and disposed of in the nearest port. To obtain the quality certificate this additional requirement had to be solved.

The 44-person nautical and scientific crew produces a good 50 kilograms of packaging waste every day: fruit crates, egg boxes, paper and large boxes in which the food is transported and the packaging material from the instruments of the 23 researchers. It is impossible to stack the boxes before reaching the nearest port. In addition to the already existing instruction to avoid waste on board by skillful purchasing (for example avoiding packaging waste etc.), innovative machine technology was needed to reduce the volume of the packaging material.


The research of the shipping company Briese showed that the company mütek Systemtechnik from Filderstadt was able to solve the problem. Always from the view point of saving energy and adjusted to customer requirements, mütek plans, designs and supplies environmentally friendly shredding machines and briquetting presses.

Within one hour, the on board mütek shredding and briquetting machines are able to produce five-centimeter-thick cylindrical briquettes from the ship's cardboard waste of one day. The volume of the starting material is reduced by up to 10 times!

In this way, the "MARIA S. MERIAN" FS will live up to the requirements of the Blue Angel for Green Shipping, the most modern and sophisticated seal of approval for ships, and will continue to carry the "Blue Angel" seal.

The German research vessel "Maria S. Merian" is named after the naturalist Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717). The ship is based in Rostock and is scientifically supervised by the Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde. As one of the youngest and most modern research vessels of the German research fleet, it has been used since 2006 for German and international marine research. As a research vessel, which can also operate on the edge of the polar sea ice, it is intended primarily for use in the North Atlantic. For this purpose, the bow was reinforced with up to 20 millimeters thick steel plates. The so-called POD drive makes it possible to keep the ship exactly in position during the expeditions. For research trips, in addition to a crew of 21, there is room for another 23 scientists. All marine science disciplines on the "Maria S. Merian" have five laboratories, a computer center, a meeting room as well as loading and storage rooms. For the use of special equipment as well as scientific material, which is collected on the expeditions, the scientists have an additional load of 150 tons available. Recent trips have taken the "Maria S. Merian", for example, through the eastern North Atlantic to the Baltic Sea and into the coastal waters of the Benguelastrom system off southwest Africa.

The entire plant consists of:
- muetek shredding machine MRZ 630
- muetek briquetting machine MMP



19.03. - 22.03.2024 Holz-Handwerk Nürnberg

26.05. - 30.05.2025 LIGNA Hannover

About Us

muetek Systemtechnik
Hartmut Müller GmbH
Grienweg 38
72666 Neckartailfingen

Tel.: +49 (0)711 945 887-60
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