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Conversion of Household Waste into Usable Energy

Fall 2009 • Africa and Asia

The Blackstone Innovation Challenge Grant of 2009 went to Thomas Culhane, a solar energy specialist, and Katey Walter Anthony, who researches methane release in the arctic. The two of them are collaborating on an initiative to determine the viability of introducing microbes that survive in the very cold climates of the arctic region into biogas digestors that convert organic household waste into a usable fuel source. The two winners have secured another grant to support a series of pilot projects that will allow them to expand the range of the digestor’s use from warm to temperate climates. This is the result of an innovative collaboration that has the potential to be an important business that would allow poor families around the world to be more self-reliant and supply their own household energy needs.

National Geographic Society

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