Samsung Solve for Tomorrow uncovers Singapore’s next generation of environmental innovators

May 20. 2022

Sustainability and creating a greener future were top-of-mind for many youth participants at the fifth edition of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition in Singapore. Among the many solutions submitted by aspiring environmental innovators across Singapore, two ideas stood out and clinched the competition’s top spots.

One of these winning ideas seek to lower greenhouse gas emissions through the innovative combination of engineering and biotechnology. The other aims to generate more renewable energy to power our society by elevating the efficiency of solar energy systems.

Post-secondary category winner: MNKS X CO2 from Singapore Polytechnic

From left: Mohammed Khambhati, Ti Kyi Kyaw, Keeret Singh and Toh Siew Hean with the prototype of their biofilter to tackle carbon dioxide emissions from vehicle exhaust

The team from Singapore Polytechnic conceptualised a biofilter for vehicles with a biofilm made of genetically engineered Escherichia coli (E. Coli) bacteria that can consume carbon dioxide while emitting oxygen gas. The filter chamber design is similar to the villi of the small intestine, which will help maximise the bacteria’s contact surface with exhaust fumes, thereby increasing its overall filtration efficiency.

“Vehicle carbon emissions is a key culprit for climate change, and our team believes that addressing this issue will require us to rethink current solutions,” said Mohammed, team leader of MNKS X CO2. “The idea of a biofilter was inspired by the amazing ability of genetically modified E.coli to absorb carbon dioxide. With the assistance of my teammates Nick, Keeret, and Siew Hean, we were able to integrate different STEM disciplines and develop our idea into a feasible solution. We hope that our E.Coli-driven biofilter can make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change,” he added.

University category winner: Team Adustio from NUS

From left: Yuan Hai Shu and Alyssa Cheok with the prototype of their organic solar battery

The team from National University of Singapore developed an integrated two-part solar energy system that combines an organic solar battery with a mobile app-assisted asset management system.

The organic solar battery cell is made from seaweed carrageenan, which is a binder for high energy and low-cost lithium-sulfur batteries. Additionally, an integrated mobile application with sensor devices and an asset management system enables the solar panels to be tilted according to the sun’s position throughout the day, maximising its ability to harness solar energy.

According to Alyssa Cheok, team leader of Team Adustio, “There is an urgent need for renewable energy to catch up with the rising energy demand. Our integrated two-part solar solution will not only increase solar energy output, but it is also biodegradable and has a low production cost.”

“We hope this will incentivise more companies to implement it at scale. Solve for Tomorrow is an ideal testbed for refining our solution and conceptualising a potential business model. The journey has been rewarding as it broadened our horizon and encouraged us to push the boundaries to create something impactful,” she added.

Did the above ideas spark any inspiration and innovative ideas in you? Do check out the post-event highlights video below, and keep a lookout on our socials for details of this year’s edition of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition.

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