Rotten Veg Generates Energy

Invention that makes renewable energy from rotting veg wins James Dyson prize.


Now in its 15th year, the James Dyson award operates in 27 countries, and is open to students and recent graduates studying product design, industrial design and engineering. It recognises and rewards imaginative design solutions to global problems.


So, there was more good news for the renewables sector this week after it emerged that a novel material made from crop waste can convert UV light into energy. Carvey Ehren Maigue , an engineering student at Mapúa University in the Philippines, used waste fruit and vegetables to make the fluorescent panels, which can be easily attached to buildings.


His innovation, dubbed Aureus, landed him a sustainability gong in the James Dyson awards. Aureus is made from crop waste and can be attached in panels to windows and walls. It allows high energy photons to be absorbed by luminescent particles derived from fruit and vegetables, which re-emit them as visible light. Unlike solar panels, the system is effective even when not directly facing the sun because it can pick up UV through clouds and bouncing from walls, pavements and other buildings.


The other top prize in the international competition has been handed to the inventor of a low-cost biomedical device that can be used at home to detect breast cancer, harnessing artificial intelligence to analyse urine.


Both winners received £30,000 to develop their innovative ideas further.


Sir James Dyson is a British inventor, industrial designer and entrepreneur who founded Dyson Ltd. Traditionally, he is best known as the inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, which works on the principle of cyclonic separation.