Grantees 2020 Edition
Affordable Solar Fuel for Clean Cooking (Cameroon)
The project aims at a practical demonstration of the use of solar hydrogen as a promising and competitive fuel for clean, safe and modern food cooking in the Global South. Today, in developing countries, food cooking represents the largest energy end-use, and more than 2.7 billion people still use charcoal, firewood, agricultural waste and animal dung1. The main problems related to the use of those solid fuels are household air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
We propose to combine both production and consumption aspects in a complementary way, through the design and installation of a solar hydrogen production power plant in Cameroon. It will be coupled to an efficient storage solution for fuel delivery to households, the latter being equipped with homemade hydrogen-powered stoves. As an interesting side effect, the combustion product is drinkable water.
- EPFL affiliation: Laboratory of Renewable Energy Science and Engineering, Prof. Sophia Haussener
- Global South partners: Soft Power, University of Yaoundé (Cameroon)
Global NeoNat, a robust incubator for newborns (Kenya)
Global NeoNat is a project developping a robust incubator for newborns and a sustainable training in the Global South. Incubators are indispensable tools in primary healthcare, to take care of sick and underweight newborns, which represent a large percentage of child mortality today (40%).
This essential incubator will be simple and intuitive to use. It will have all the necessary features of a state-of-the art incubator, whilst being well adapted to the context of a district hospital in the developing world. Extensive research has already been conducted at EPFL, in collaboration with African partners in Cameroon, on many aspects of great importance to this topic. Workshops with Swiss and African pediatricians have allowed to fine-tune and confirm our understanding of the necessary constrains and specifications of the incubator.
Sustainable 3D Printing for Peace (Colombia)
This proposal is a follow-up project of the ‘3DP4Peace’ (CODEV seed money grant 2019). Its aim is to develop and implement low-cost and sustainable 3D printed composite assistive devices in local Colombian communities for disabled people, based on plastics and natural fiber wastes. The challenges are to create robust and high-quality devices taking into account limited technical waste management infrastructure and to create businesses with environmental benefits (waste management) and social benefits (helping disabled people + job reation). This 2-year project will promote social, educational, technical and scientific solutions through a dynamic collaboration and exchange of researchers between EPFL, the University of Los Andes, and 2 NGOs.
Sustainable tarpaulins for emergency shelter (Bangladesh)
Plastic tarpaulins are the most basic, fast and efficient solution to provide basic emergency shelter in humanitarian crises. It is a quick impact solution, which saves lives, but such excessive use of plastic significantly impacts the local environment.
LPDC has recently developed a disruptive technology to convert agriculture residues to polyester, which is 100% bio-based and fully bio-degradable. The objective is to close a circular bio-economy loop by transforming locally under-utilized wastes into tarpaulins. For this study, wastes from Bangladesh will be collected, transformed to polyester granules at EPFL and sent back to a Bangladeshi partner for yarn spinning and tarpaulins fabrication.
Medair will test the prototype and collect feedback from Rohingya refugees to implement the optimal design. Beyond the environmental benefits, this sustainable material will have direct social effects on local communities.