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Interdisciplinary thinking moves trainee project forward

Trainee Achievements

Interdisciplinary thinking moves trainee project forward

A key trainee outcome of the spring semester course was an interdisciplinary project whereby a hybrid system operated on combustion of silicon-rich rice husks leaving ash that provide silica for PV or other applications and CO2 for a biological photobioreactor that creates a valuable product (fuel, biomass, fertilizer) while taking up and cleaning flue gas. The combustion heat can be converted to electricity and the hybrid facility will use and/or metabolize waste products (rice husk, waste water, etc). The trainees’ vision includes: 1) a megawatt-scale plant for a rice farm in California; and 2) scale-up of the technology including international projects in developing countries. The trainees will present the idea at the annual IGERT online poster and video competition in May. This project exemplifies the types of interdisciplinary thinking fostered in IGERT SUN trainees and incorporates all three technical disciplines along with policy issue considerations for scale-up efforts.