Mekong Green Tech (Lac Hong Gasifiers)

Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012 - $18,500

In a number of rural industries in the developing world, waste matter is burnt in order to generate the heat needed for manufacturing. This is the case in the Asian brick making industry, where the combustion of biomass is so inefficient it causes incredible amounts of air pollution (one third of the emissions of the global airline industry), acute respiratory illness, and poor crop growth. In Vietnam, the government has made attempts to shut down the traditional brick making industry because of the pollution, and some kilns have been shut down entirely.

This E-Team is developing a new low-cost gasifier to slash pollution in Vietnam’s traditional brick making industry. Gasification is a technology that converts organic material into clean burning, flammable gas. The team’s demonstration unit, built between Georgia Tech engineers and a Vietnamese partner organization, will cost roughly ten times less to run as current kilns and would pay for itself in under five years. The team is planning six more paid pilot installations. In Vietnam alone, over 10,000 small businesses stand to benefit.