The James Dyson Award is a global pupil innovation award that challenges younger folks to “design one thing that solves an issue”. The winner of 2021 within the US is Gabe Tavas, 21 years outdated. This pupil on the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign creates wooden with out reducing down bushes. He based the corporate Symmetry and invented Pyrus: a petroleum-free, wood-like materials made with cellulose waste from kombucha tea.
“By changing wooden, Pyrus may also help save bushes so that they proceed to facilitate inexperienced power.,” mentioned Tavas.
Gabe Tavas and his work
“I began doing extra analysis on points like deforestation, after which I spotted that wooden is generally made up of cellulose.”, I mentioned.
Each wood stick has two important elements: cellulose, which gives the essential form and framework; and lignin, which acts as a glue for all different parts.
Some kombucha corporations use microorganisms that create sticky layers of cellulose on high of the liquid. A layer of cellulose might be stuffed with slime micro organism that develop on high of the kombucha when it’s brewed and this layer is often thrown away.
To create Pyrus, Symmetry teamed up with enterprise affiliation The Plant to be equipped with greater than 100kg of kombucha waste, sheets of cellulose are then blended to a uniform consistency after which dipped in a gel. Because the gel dries, it hardens and is positioned below a mechanical press to kind a flat sheet of wood-like materials. The fabric can then be sanded, lower, and coated with resin, very similar to wooden supplies from a tree trunk.
“Vegetation use cellulose to make their primary buildings, so what if we get that ingredient from micro organism?”, Tavas questioned and went in search of solutions.
Whereas there are a number of corporations creating wooden substitutes, many are utilizing sawdust. Utilizing sawdust nonetheless requires reducing down bushes, and it additionally poses well being dangers to those that are overexposed to it.
In distinction, Pyrus makes use of leftovers from kombucha, which is each eco-friendly and sustainable, to make cellulose. The last word aim of Pyrus is to interchange the costly and delightful wooden merchandise which can be presently the reason for large deforestation.
Over the previous yr, Tavas has produced 74 fashions of Pyrus wooden in a wide range of colours and textures. Pyrus has been export examined for steerage and suggestions from skilled woodworkers.
The US James Dyson Award offers Tavas a $2,600 prize cash. He plans to make use of the cash to develop his manufacturing facility and develop the 3D printing course of.
Finally, Tavas desires Pyrus to be made into a wide range of environmentally pleasant, consumer-friendly and commercially viable merchandise.
Making “wooden” from kombucha
Pyrus will take to the stage of the Worldwide James Dyson Awards. The checklist might be introduced on October 13 and worldwide winners might be introduced on November 17. British inventor and businessman Sir James Dyson will personally choose the nationwide award winners. financial.
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