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Tunisian Maher Damak, MIT PhD student awarded in USA

A tech using electrical fields to recapture water vapour that normally escapes from cooling towers attached to big power plants was invented by “Infinite Cooling” a startup co-founded by Maher Damak, a 28-year-old Tunisian, PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Boston, USA.

Water from the collected steam is recycled back into cooling.

“Power plants consume a lot of water; they use this water for their cooling system. Currently, all this water is lost, as it evaporates from the towers of power plants.

So we have developed a technology that uses electric fields to capture this water, to promote its reuse and reduce the water requirements of the plants,” Damak told Express FM.

The PhD student, who co-founded “Infinite Cooling”, with two of his colleagues, said “we have managed to recover more than 80% of water losses, as an example for a plant of 250 megawatts, we can recover 1.2 cubic meters per minute and the energy consumption in this technology is very low.”

Maher Damak underlined that similar technologies have already been developed in the past, but the problem was, always, the cost which is greater than the water.

“For our technology, the cost is very low, which makes it economically viable, it will be marketed by our startup”, he went on saying.

“We won the World Technology Award, then we qualified for the US Energy Department’s 2017 National Cleantech University Prize Competition and won the first prize, and as a result I was ranked by Forbes magazine in November 2017 among the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy 2018,” he indicated.

Maher Damak reported a second research focused on reducing pesticide runoff by making sprays “stickier.”

By introducing a low-cost additive to the pesticide solution, Damak and his advisor, Professor Kripa Varanasi, have demonstrated that they can enhance the efficiency of pesticide application by causing the droplets to better adhere to plants. The objective is to keep toxins out of the soil and water table while making pesticide treatment more economical.

Damak said he has started trials in partner farmers’ fields in the US to verify and measure the effectiveness of this product and he also plans field trials in Europe and in India

TunisianMonitorOnline (MNHN)

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