“Create The Future” Winning Design Converts Carbon Waste Into Clean Fuel

Oct. 6, 2017
A research team from Cornell University and Dimensional Energy invent method to cost-effectively convert waste carbon dioxide into valuable, clean liquid fuel.

Aiming to reduce global CO2 emissions, a research team from Cornell University and Dimensional Energy (Ithaca, NY) reportedly invents a way to cost-efficiently convert waste carbon dioxide into valuable, clean liquid fuel. Their "Hi-Light" Solar Thermal Chemical Reactor, which uses proprietary nanotechnology in a process that mimics plant photosynthesis, is awarded a grand prize of $20,000 in the 2017 "Create the Future" Design Contest. 

Hi-Light was among 1,150 new product ideas submitted in the 15th annual design contest, which was established in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy. This year's contest was co-sponsored by Comsol and Mouser Electronics. Analog Devices and Intel were supporting sponsors. 

In addition to the grand prize of $20,000, first-place winners were named in seven categories and received Hewlett-Packard workstation computers:

Aerospace & Defense sponsored by Zeus

Airfoil Performance Monitor (APM)

Patented technology provides real-time information to pilots regarding the state of the airflow over the aircraft's wings and tail. This information is critical for the prevention of stalls and loss of control, especially during icing conditions.

John Maris (Team Lead), Marinvent Corporation, Quebec, Canada


Heavy Duty Aftermarket Super Truck

Advanced Under Hood Air System delivers a 10% fuel savings, while reducing heat and fan noise by 50%.

Joshua Medling (Team Lead}, Enviro-Cool, Sullivan, MO, USA

Consumer Products

Conformal Battery

Novel battery integrates into the product structure, reducing weight while improving performance. It allows product designs to be based on end use and function – not battery shape.

Megan Moore (Team Lead), Battelle, Columbus, OH, USA


Integrated Multi-Color Light Emitting Device Made with Hybrid Crystal Structure

Integrated hybrid crystal LED display device that – for the first time – emits red, green and blue colors on one single wafer, offering applications to the next generation of LED displays and televisions.

Yeonjoon Park, National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and Sang Choi, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA

Machinery/Automation/Robotics  sponsored by Maplesoft

EJBot: Versatile Climbing Robot for Industrial Vessel Inspection

A new propeller-type robot for climbing various types of structures and obstacles promises to improve safety and reduce the cost of inspecting industrial vessels.

Mohamed Gouda Alkalla and Mohamed Fanni, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Ad-daqahliyah, Egypt

Medical  sponsored by Schneider Electric

Arterial Everter

A novel tool replaces traditional suturing and enables rapid anastomosis of arteries, dramatically reducing operating time.

Jeffrey Plott (Team Lead), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Sustainable Technologies

Energy Saving Filter for Removal of Heavy Metals from Water

Innovative water filtering technology uses a nanomaterial to attract heavy metal ions and is optimized for lowest cost, zero energy consumption, no water waste and high flow rate.

Volodymyr Khranovskyy (Team Lead), Talent Molecule LDA, Braga, Portugal

 Finalists were selected by senior editors at Tech Briefs Media Group, producer of the contest, and judged by an independent panel of design engineers.  For more information, visit: www.createthefuturecontest.com

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