$10,000 Scholarship Recipient
Project Title: “Optimizing the Microbial Fuel Cell-Microbial Electrolysis Cell Coupled System for Sustainable Hydrogen Gas Production, Electricity Generation, and Improved Wastewater Treatment”______ _______ ________ ____ _______
Ajay was able to demonstrate a system that can control the amount of electricity that is supplied to the MEC (microbial electrolysis cell) using a novel voltage regulator circuit. His work makes it possible to extract both electricity and hydrogen gas from the MFC-MEC system based on consumer demand in the market. Current methods of fabricating carbon nanotube-based electrodes involve using chemical vapor deposition, a process that requires the use of costly equipment. Ajay was able to demonstrate high power densities and hydrogen gas production rates in the MFC-MEC system, by using a low-cost electrophoretic deposition technique to coat graphite plate anodes with multi-walled carbon nanotubes.
Ajay’s research can be used to make wastewater treatment plants self-sustaining. Nearly $20 billion is spent annually on wastewater treatment in the United States, and many more billions are spent worldwide. Ajay showed that his MFC-MEC system can save $130,000 annually in wastewater treatment. Wastewater is abundant, and the ability to extract resources from it in the form of electricity and hydrogen gas is increasingly important.
Ajay is a rising senior at the Oregon Episcopal School. His dream career would be to develop efficient and environmentally-friendly energy technologies to help make our planet more sustainable. Ajay won the 2012 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition. He was the gold medalist at the 2012 ISWEEEP competition and was a regional finalist in the 2013 Google Science Fair. Ajay enjoys playing basketball, tennis, ping pong and video games..
Click the links below to view hi-res photos of Ajay:
Click here to view the full listing of the 2013 Davidson Fellows.
Click here to view Ajay's press release.
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