Home Technology UBC post-doctoral student wins $1.9 million from Prince William, Elon Musk competitions

UBC post-doctoral student wins $1.9 million from Prince William, Elon Musk competitions

0
UBC post-doctoral student wins $1.9 million from Prince William, Elon Musk competitions

Kevin Kung has helped develop small-scale know-how that turns what’s left in a subject after harvest into fertilizer

Article content material

There have been many institution names in Kevin Kung’s life. The post-doctoral student has attended the University of British Columbia, Cambridge University, MIT, Princeton University, and he has attracted consideration from the Duke of Cambridge and Elon Musk.

Advertisement

Article content material

But his know-how isn’t fairly in the identical leagues — but — being a down-to-earth mechanism for turning what’s left in a subject after harvest into fertilizer. Called torrefaction , the method takes biomass waste (lifeless crops or forest residue, for instance) and makes it into fertilizer, feed or gas. This isn’t new, however Kung and his companion have taken the idea and diminished it to a transportable machine that may assist farmers convert the stays of vegetation right into a worthwhile product that they’ll both return to their fields or promote to complement their revenue.

Kung and Vidyut Mohan of India co-founded the social enterprise Takachar . “Worldwide, $120 billion value of crop and forest residues are burned within the open annually.  If used productively, these residues characterize a $10 billion market globally,” its web site says.

Mohan made Forbes’s 30 Under 30 – Asia – Social Entrepreneurs record and gained the EU Environment Program’s Young Champion of the Earth prize in 2020; within the video, he describes their course of.

Advertisement

Article content material

We apologize, however this video has did not load.

Last month, Takachar took in a mixed $1.9 million in prize cash from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s inaugural Earthshot Prize , in addition to from the XPrize and Musk Foundation’s Carbon Removal competitors, for which it entered as “Takachar (Safi Organics) from the University of British Columbia, Northeastern University and IISC Bangalore (Canada, India, Kenya & United States).”

Takachar’s MiniTorr, which trailers behind a tractor, eliminates the necessity for the farmer or forest-keeper to haul development residue to a different location after which convey the fertilizer again. That alone saves fossil gas use. But it additionally helps minimize smoke and hearth from post-harvest subject burns. In Canada, the cell system can assist loggers entry the know-how in dense or hilly forests.

Advertisement

Article content material

Kung was born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver. The chief know-how officer of Takachar is at present in Phase 3 of UBC’s entrepreneurs’ enterprise program and is a postdoctoral fellow in chemical and organic engineering on the college.

Kung with an early version of the technology.
Kung with an early model of the know-how. Photo by MIT News by way of UBC

“When I used to be small,” he informed the local news site Vancouver is Awesome, “I grew up subsequent to rice paddy fields and I bear in mind when the farmers would burn off the stubble left behind after harvesting, which led to native air high quality points. There will at all times be a nostalgic factor to the smoke and odor within the air, however trying again, these reminiscences have very totally different connotations now.”

The firm’s web site explains the advantages for the atmosphere: “Takachar’s know-how reduces smoke emissions by as much as 98 per cent, which is able to assist enhance the air high quality that at present reduces the affected inhabitants’s life expectancy by as much as 5 years.” It tasks that it may improve the web revenue of rural communities by 40 per cent by making a marketplace for crop residues.

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a full of life however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the location. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We have enabled e mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e mail in case you obtain a reply to your remark, there may be an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a consumer you comply with feedback. Visit our Community Guidelines for extra data and particulars on the way to regulate your email settings.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here