Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Hardening concrete faster, Water Treatment and Producing Hydrogen fuel from waste aluminium cans
Explain your idea in details:
The objectives of this project is to convert waste aluminium cans into Hydrogen gas and Sodium Aluminate. This will be achieved through five main steps which are: 1) Collection of the aluminium cans from aluminium collection points and land fills 2) The cans are then shredded up into small pieces in an aluminium can shredder 3) The shredded pieces are the fed into a Batch Reactor containing the reagents that will convert the aluminium into hydrogen gas and Sodium Tetrahydroxoaluminate 4) The Hydrogen gas is then collected, cleaned, dried and then stored in pressurized tanks 5) The solution that remains in the Batch Reactor will be mainly consisting of dyes from the aluminium cans, other insoluble debris and Sodium Tetrahydroxoaluminate. This is then filtered our of the reactor and dried in a fluid bed dryer at around 800°C to produce the Sodium Aluminate. This can thus be used in Water Treatment plants and employed in quick setting concrete mixes for hardening concrete faster. This project will see the processing of every 1000 aluminium cans (roughly weighing 14,2 kg) containing within it about 13,1 kg of aluminium into roughly 1,472 kg of Hydrogen gas (roughly valued at US$20,59) and into 19,7 kg of Sodium Aluminate (roughly valued at US$101,36).
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
This project will greatly reduce the amount of aluminium cans in the environment and at the same time see the production of affordable and cleaner energy (SDG 7). The sodium aluminate in its usage in construction and water treatment will see more use of recycled waste material in the development of more sustainable construction and a more sustainable water treatment process thus seeing a contribution to more sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11). Since both the hydrogen gas and sodium aluminate produced from this project have wide range industrial applications they can easily be commercialized and generate revenue for the project that can be invested back into the project making it economically sustainable. Thus this project will impact Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The business model we will employ is an Up-cycling Based Supply Chain business model which will seek to up-cycle waste aluminium cans into hydrogen gas and Sodium Aluminate for the small to large scale industrial market. Initially we will focus on the small industrial clients just until production can be scaled up. We will employ a niche marketing strategy as our products will be specialized industrial products. We want to initially utilize a low capital intensive and high labour intensive production model in-order to reduce the initial cost of investment by reducing initial machinery acquisition costs. This will also give us time to efficiently see which stages in the production line that need innovative solutions in automation or just simple redistribution in labour. After calibration and optimizing production we seek to move to a more automated production to increase the production outputs and reduce labour costs. Initially the aluminium can recovery and material grading process will be pushed onto external suppliers to reduce costs but with time will be done more in house. The enterprise will be financed through the direct sales of the hydrogen gas and Sodium Aluminate itself. Later on investment into hydrothermoelectric power generation will be made as the process releases a lot of heat which could be tapped and see an increase in profits for the project but this will need more capital and research. In addition product diversification will be focused on in the future in order to add more value to the product range for example combining the hydrogen gas we will be producing with nitrogen gas to make ammonium (fertilizer).
My name is Anthony Jekanyika and i am a 23 year old young man from Marondera, Zimbabwe. I am interested in entrepreneurship and engineering. I have received a number of local and international awards in these fields, more notable was becoming a Finalist at the 2017 Entrepreneurship Enactus World Cup in London and winning the local Telecel Digital Marketing Award. I hope to get positive exposure for myself and for my project.