Mankind has learned that Earth’s resources are not unlimited and we must treasure the ones we still have available.
But young learn even faster. This years scholarship prize of $20,000 of Invent Your World Challenge went to a 15 year old fellow from Texas called Javier Ferni¡ndez-Han, who proved us all that renewable energy is the way we should direct our creativity upon.
The youngster has developed the Versatile system(Village Energy Reactor Solar Algae Technology Integrated Life Enhancement), an algae-powered system to treat waste, produce methane and bio-oil for fuel, produce food for humans and livestock, sequester greenhouse gases, and produce greenhouse gases. The Versatile system combines a dozen new and existing technologies and is made from six subsystems:
– an anaerobic digester for sewage and food scraps
– a bio-gas upgrader to turn gases from the digester into food for the algae
– vented methane burning stoves
– a CO2-capturing device
– algae bioreactors to produce algae biomass and oxygen from sunlight, saltwater, and CO2, flush latrines
– and the PlayPump, which uses energy derived from children playing to power the system.
A schematic can be seen in the picture below:
The high school student thinks that his invention targets mainly developing countries and a lot of African villages which need a self-contained sources of power and waste disposal. A small version of the system could cost around $200 for a small house or apartment after it is prepared and built. Even if the system has not been yet built and skepticism still remains on this invention, we should be very proud of this young student and his further ability to design ingenious green things.