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Smart Green Washer- to maintain the health of aquatic foods

Making the ocean clean of micro fibers so that the fish we eat have no microfibers in their body.

Photo of Anteneh Gashaw
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Anteneh Engineering

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://solve.mit.edu/challenges/circular-economy/solutions/8926

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Addis Ababa

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Ethiopia

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

The selected place for implementation of this project is in fishery area of Ethiopia which is Bahir Dar which covers about 28 km² in area.

What country is your selected Place located in?

Ethiopia

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I am Ethiopian. I am citizen and residence of Ethiopia. Agriculture in Ethiopia is the foundation of the country's economy, accounting for half of gross domestic product (GDP), 83.9% of exports, and 80% of total employment. But for a country which depends on growing food to run the country, the industry is at its lowest efficiency. So, as a citizen of the country and responsible citizen of the world, I would like to bring positive impact in any way I can. The better efficiency of the agriculture industry affects me big time too because the more food production there is, the better food quality and price I can eat. So, instead of complaining I decided to join the challenge in a hope that I can make a difference in the future.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Ethiopia is landlocked country located in Eastern Africa. It borders Kenya, South Sudan, Somali, Djibouti and Sudan. Here are interesting facts about this African nation: Addis Ababa, the capital city, is the highest capital city in Africa, at 2,400 metres. Ethiopia is the second most-populous country in Africa, with a population of over 90 million people by 2015. It is second to Nigeria, which had a population of over 174 million people by 2013. Over 80 languages are spoken in this country. English is the language of instruction in institutions of higher learning. The most widely spoken local languages are Oromo, Amharic, Somali and Tigrinya. Allegedly, the Ark of the Covenant that holds the 10 Commandments is in a church in this country. However, only one man knows how true this is, and he is the only one who guards it. Ethiopia fought against the Scramble for Africa, and it is one of the few countries that were not colonized, though Italians occupied it for at least five years. Coffee was discovered in this country, in Kaffa region. A shepherd discovered this famous beverage when his goats ate the leaves and became restless. Ethiopia has a distinct alphabet. The oldest fossil of Early man was discovered here. Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian, won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal, in 1960. About 70% of the mountains of Africa are in this country. Lake Tana in this country, supplies the Blue Nile River, which feeds the White Nile River before joining the Great Nile River. This country has been mentioned severally in the Bible and the Quran. Ethiopia has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. The nine sites are Aksum, Fasil Ghebbi, Harar, Konso Cultural Landscape, Lower Valley of the Awash, Lower Valley of the Omo, Rock-Hewn Churches, Simien National Park and Tiya. The Ethiopian Calendar has 13 months and it is 7 ½ years behind the Gregorian calendar. New Year in Ethiopia starts on 11th September and a day later in a leap year. Ethiopia is the diplomatic capital of the continent, since it hosts the headquarters of Kenya African and international organisations such as the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO and UNDP. Ethiopia is one of the main destinations for tourists exploring the Horn of Africa. It has a beautiful blend of cultures and delicious exotic dishes. It has numerous airports to get you to any destination within the country. Among these key points of entry is Addis Ababa Airport, also known as Bole International Airport. Source: Jovago.com 

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

105000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Most of us wear synthetic fabrics like polyester every day. Our dress shirts, yoga pants, fleeces, and even underwear are all increasingly made of synthetic materials plastic, in fact. But these synthetic fabrics, from which 60% of all clothing on earth is made, have a big hidden problem: when they’re washed, they release tiny plastic bits called microfibers that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans by the billions. Approximately 2 out of 7 people in the world have access to washing machines and there will be at least more than 700,000 microscopic fibers could be released into wastewater during each use of a domestic washing machine, with many of them likely to pass through sewage treatment and into the environment, according to new research. So, imagine the total. 

Just over 100 million tonnes of fish are eaten worldwide each year, providing two and a half billion people with at least 20 percent of their average per capita animal protein intake. This is very large numbers and that means all those people are in the risk of health caused by consuming micro fibers in their systems. This is a direct treat to our food industry.

Environment- Fish play an integral role in ecosystem nutrient cycles. Fish recycle nutrients that are vital in the productivity and survival of organisms at the base of the aquatic food web. If fishes are getting exposed to micro fiber they will decrease in number fast. This will lead to big crisis in the environment. 

Diets- As the global population continues to grow every year, so too does the demand for agricultural products. Therefore it is important to work on the aquatic food industry to supply food for the growing population. This means quality and quantity because there is no point of delivering big quantity aquatic food if the quality is poor or if the food is poisoned with microfibers.

Economics- Approximately three billion people in the world rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein. As the largest traded food commodity in the world, seafood provides sustenance to billions of people worldwide. If micro fiber is not managed quickly this economy will be at great danger.  

Culture- Food plays big role on the ethics of a society. The more a society is feed, the more it holds its value. Lack of basic necessity like food will make human beings omit their value and results in crisis of peace and order. 

Technology- This project proposes low tech technology to solve one of the biggest challenge we ever faced. 

Policy- After seeing the efficiency of this project government will make law to apply this technology.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Filtration or separation of microfiber from the wastewater can be achieved by integrating a heater with a washing machine. After the end-user washes the cloth there will be wastewater containing microfiber. The wastewater will be directed to a heating chamber. When the heater is activated the water will evaporate and the microfiber will remain in the chamber since microfiber does not evaporate. Meaning water boils at 100°C and the temperature must reach from 570 up to 600°C before wool will be affected; while polyester melts at 252–292°C and nylon at 160–260°C, wool never melts so it can't stick to the container. The evaporated water will be directed into a small tank for condensation. Condensation occurs when the water vapor in the container is cooled, changing from a gas to a liquid. This process can take place at various temperatures between 0 and 100°C. This water will be used for reuse since the condensed water is clean. Then after some interval, the microfiber can be collected to be sold to clothing manufacturing companies to be recycled and reused. The percentage of this lint can also be used to make plastic lumber. Currently the mechanism has been tested and showed successful results I have tested the mechanism by mixing micro fibers with water and boiling up the water with home stove and home tools, the water evaporated and the micro fibers remain in the container. This confirms that my design works 100 percent. 

You can see some of publication of this project via 

NASA international space app https://2019.spaceappschallenge.org/challenges/earths-oceans/trash-cleanup/teams/the-saviors/project  

MIT circular economy https://solve.mit.edu/challenges/circular-economy/solutions/8926

Create the future by tech briefs https://contest.techbriefs.com/2019/entries/electronics-sensors-iot/9471 

Herox -PLASTIKA REPARABILIS CHALLENGE https://www.herox.com/plastika-reparabilis/round/346/entry/21820 

Global innovation exchange https://www.globalinnovationexchange.org/innovation/smart-green-washer  

Digital Maker Space DMS CONSERVATIONX LABS https://conservationx.com/project/id/340/smartgreenwasher 

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

There are many critical selling points for this product to end users but the main selling point for end users is buying this product is not an additional cost but a means to get income when the end user washes cloth. The end users can sell the separated microfiber based on their weight to textile companies and cloth manufacturing companies and percentage of this lint can be used to make plastic lumber. And they will gain cash profit from washing their clothes. The second selling points for the end user is water saving resulting in lower waster expense. This is because since the separation of the microfiber and waste waster involves in converting the wastewater into water vapor, this process can act as water filtration to be used for other purposes. The third selling point is that by using this product end users are preventing micro fibers enters into the oceans that will be eaten by the fishes which end up in their plate at the end. The other selling points are end users feel responsible for the preservation of the oceans and the natural world, modernization and upgrading way of life and so on.

This project is a finalist in the TKF PLASTICS INNOVATION CHALLENGE 2019. 

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

My vision for 2050 for the aquatic food industry is seeing the ocean Microfiber problem solved and this project implemented by installing this device on the current washing machines and the future washing machines are made including this device in their mechanism. 

Most of us wear synthetic fabrics like polyester every day. Our dress shirts, yoga pants, fleeces, and even underwear are all increasingly made of synthetic materials plastic, in fact. But these synthetic fabrics, from which 60% of all clothing on earth is made, have a big hidden problem: when they’re washed, they release tiny plastic bits called microfibers that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans by the billions. If there is a mechanism that can collect all these microfibers, cloth manufacturing companies can reuse the microfibers to make new clothing like tough, very soft-to-the-touch materials for general clothing use. This collection can be done using newly designed washing machine. A washing machine (laundry machine, clothes washer, or washer) is a device used to wash laundry. There are many washing machines that filter the water for reuse but they can not filter microfiber because they are too small. This project solves this problem. Filtration or separation of microfiber from the wastewater can be achieved by integrating a heater with a washing machine. After the end-user washes the cloth there will be wastewater containing microfiber. The wastewater will be directed to a heating chamber. When the heater is activated the water will evaporate and the microfiber will remain in the chamber since microfiber does not evaporate. The evaporated water will be directed into a small tank for condensation. This water will be used for reuse. Then after some interval, the microfiber can be collected to be sold to clothing manufacturing companies to be recycled and reused. As seen in the above figure the red part is the heater and the green is the small tank that will hold the condensed water. There will be non-retunable valves in preheating and after heating pipes so that the water does nor return into washing chamber and hearter respectively. Note that the above picture is the initial draft of the mechanism and the detailed and integrated design will be submitted soon. Approx. 2 out of 7 people in the world have access to washing machines, this means if we can manage to install this mechanism in every washing machine we can save a massive amount of microfiber entering into the oceans. This is a very big amount of microfiber because there will be at least more than 700,000 microscopic fibres could be released into wastewater during each use of a domestic washing machine, with many of them likely to pass through sewage treatment and into the environment, according to new research. So, imagine the total. This will assist in making our oceans clean of microfiber. This project can impact the world. Approx. 2 out of 7 people in the world have access to washing machines, this means if we can manage to install this mechanism in every washing machine we can save a massive amount of microplastics entering into the oceans. This is a very big amount of microplastics because in one wash there will be at least more than 700,000 microscopic fibres could be released into wastewater during each use of a domestic washing machine, with many of them likely to pass through sewage treatment and into the environment, according to new research. So, imagine the total. This will assist in making our oceans clean of microfiber.

Environment- Fish play an integral role in ecosystem nutrient cycles. Fish recycle nutrients that are vital in the productivity and survival of organisms at the base of the aquatic food web. If fishes are getting exposed to micro fiber they will decrease in number fast. This will lead to big crisis in the environment. 

Diets- As the global population continues to grow every year, so too does the demand for agricultural products. Therefore it is important to work on the aquatic food industry to supply food for the growing population. This means quality and quantity because there is no point of delivering big quantity aquatic food if the quality is poor or if the food is poisoned with microfibers.

Economics- Approximately three billion people in the world rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein. As the largest traded food commodity in the world, seafood provides sustenance to billions of people worldwide. If micro fiber is not managed quickly this economy will be at great danger.  

Culture- Food plays big role on the ethics of a society. The more a society is feed, the more it holds its value. Lack of basic necessity like food will make human beings omit their value and results in crisis of peace and order. 

Technology- This project proposes low tech technology to solve one of the biggest challenge we ever faced. 

Policy- After seeing the efficiency of this project government will make law to apply this technology.


Once this system is implemented in Ethiopia, the mechanism can be adopted worldwide. This indicates that this project has big transformative potential and will inspire many people living in many areas to adopt the system.  

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

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Photo of Etyang Tiberious
Team

Hello Food System Vision Prize participant,
Salvation Farming Solutions team would like to invite you for a session on multi-stakeholder interactions for sustainable farming practices and community educational programming for Friday, January 31, 2020 at 4:00pm EAT.
The conversation will be moderated by Professor Leonard Sonnenschein, Founder SFS and Tiberious Etyang, SFS Managing Director for Africa.
The details of the meeting below:
Topic: Multi-stakeholders Conversation
Time: Jan 31, 2020 04:00 PM Nairobi
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/204673996
Meeting ID: 204 673 996
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Photo of Anteneh Gashaw
Team

Etyang Tiberious Thank you for the invitation! It seems an interesting meeting and I will be available at the time of the meeting via the shared link!

Photo of Etyang Tiberious
Team

You are welcome

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