Biomass projects win Ideation Contest

The TU Delft Ideation Contest, a student competition for solutions for societal problems, held its finale last week.

The organisation behind the TU Delft Ideation Contest was looking for innovations in the areas of energy, the built environment, food security and medical technology. The contest has two categories.

  • The Ideation Award  for business ideas, solutions to problems or a vision of something you want to turn into reality. Submissions to this category are preliminary sketches, calculations, photos or descriptions of the idea.
  • The Prototyping Award  for advanced ideas in the form of a prototype, scale model or business plan.

In the finale on 11 June 2019, the Ideation Award was won by the Efesto team for their design of a device that produces heat by burning biomass in a domestic setting with biochar as a useful by-product. Biochar can be used as a fertiliser.

Team Quantum Energy & Engineering won the Prototyping Award with their electricity-producing kettle. Placed on a wood stove, it will generate enough thermoelectric energy to light a room, says the team.

Both winners received a EUR 5,000 grant. Remarkably, both winning entries are based on burning wood or other forms of biomass. Although widespread in the developing world, this form of energy use has a bad reputation due to the spread of particulate matter and the poor energy efficiency.

Four teams will go on to the national finals on 7 November in The Hague. They will pitch against the winners of the other three technical universities (Eindhoven, Twente, and Wageningen). From TU Delft, these teams are: Quantum Energy, Glimp, Reefy, Rock-n-Roo. Efesto is not included, says the organisation, because their idea falls short of the required level for a start-up.

The overall winner of the national finals with the most promising plan for a successful start-up, will be offered a place in the Dutch delegation of the trade mission to the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Wetenschapsredacteur Jos Wassink

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