Navigation Links
Plan to turn farm waste into paper earns students $15,000
Date:11/12/2012

Johns Hopkins engineering students won $15,000 in a national competition for adapting a traditional Korean paper-making technique into a low-tech method that impoverished villagers can use to make paper for their children's underequipped schools.

The prize -- for the design of a machine to convert farm waste to paper, inexpensively and without electricity -- was presented recently in Houston during a ceremony honoring top submissions in the 2012 Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development competition. The contest attracted 422 student entrants from 173 universities. The paper-making proposal took second place.

Students Sangkyun Cho, Jay Hyug Choi and Victor Hyun Oh developed the plan last spring in a Whiting School of Engineering course called Introduction to Engineering for Sustainable Development, taught by Erica Schoenberger, a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering.

"Everyone in class knew that this team had come up with such a neat idea, and the three students worked on it in great detail," said Schoenberger, who attended the award ceremony with the team members. "I think it's more and more the case that young engineers want to turn their talents and skills to improving the lives of the poor and the excluded. This team is a shining example of that trend."

Student entrants in the Odebrecht contest were required to develop and submit a paper on possible engineering contributions to sustainable development. The Johns Hopkins students focused on the lack of basic school supplies, including paper, in developing nations such as Ethiopia, where more than 70 percent of the population is illiterate.

"Stationary supplies are simply too expensive for millions of families that live on less than $2 a day, and this is one of many socioeconomic factors that contribute to plummeting elementary school attendance rates and poor learning environments," the students wrote in their entry.

To remedy this, the three students drew on their Korean heritage to modernize a traditional Korean paper-making process for use in places such as Ethiopia. The students prepared a detailed design for a low-cost paper-making device that requires no electricity. The machine grinds up agricultural waste such as grain husks and mixes the material with water boiled over a fire. The resulting pulp is dried on racks to form paper.

So far, the paper-making device exists only on paper. But the students now plan to build a prototype. If the machine works as conceived, team member Oh said, the students will look into working with a nonprofit group or private investors to try to move the low-tech invention into regions where school supplies are scarce. "These people have a very real need," he said. "While we love our idea, we hope that the project continues to move forward for their sake, not so much ours."

Oh completed his undergraduate studies last spring and is now pursuing a master's degree in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His teammate Cho is now a senior, majoring in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Team member Choi is a junior, majoring in applied mathematics and statistics.


'/>"/>
Contact: Phil Sneiderman
prs@jhu.edu
443-287-9960
Johns Hopkins University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Superbug MRSA identified in US wastewater treatment plants
2. More than 70% of electronic waste management is uncontrolled
3. Waste cooking oil makes bioplastics cheaper
4. Glass offers improved means of storing UKs nuclear waste
5. New method to remove phosphorous from wastewater
6. A new energy source: Major advance made in generating electricity from wastewater
7. Using wastewater as fertilizer
8. Waste to watts: Improving microbial fuel cells
9. Where to put nuclear waste?
10. Ethical trade: Good intentions go to waste
11. The first pilot wastewater treatment plant with integrated wood production opened in Mongolia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Genos, a ... announced that it has received Laboratory Accreditation from ... Accreditation is presented to laboratories that meet stringent ... demonstrate scientifically rigorous processes. "Genos is ... in laboratory practices. We,re honored to be receiving ...
(Date:2/14/2017)... 2017  Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced Julie ... executive officer (CEO). Freischlag joins the medical center on ... , M.D., who last year announced that he would ... after leading it since 2008.   As ... Forest Baptist,s academic health system, which includes Wake Forest ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a centralized platform that is designed to enhance ... the latest release in the RSA Fraud & ... to enable organizations to leverage additional insights from ... anti-fraud tools to better protect their customers from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017  MDNA Life Sciences Inc. ... of liquid biopsy tests based on the mitochondrial ... exclusive license agreement with its first international commercial ... biopsy test for prostate cancer, the Prostate Mitomic ... . This is the first overseas appointment for ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017 Patient Care services ... telemedicine application, new and leading edge therapies and ... boom worldwide. The healthcare sector as whole continues ... and new therapies for companies such as Reliq ... Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLRB ), Cytori ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Pa. , Feb. 16, 2017  Windtree ... biotechnology company focusing on developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant ... from a preclinical influenza study showed that aerosolized ... survival in a well-established preclinical animal model. The ... a growing body of evidence that supports the ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... ... ... Park Systems , a leader in Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) since ... productivity with single click reliable nanoscale images, is now available on Park XE series ... the image once done manually by the operator producing high quality nanoscale imaging in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: