PhD Student, Engineering, MIT, Safi Organics
Challenge: How Can Individuals and Corporations Manage and Reduce their Carbon Contributions?
Solution: Safi Organics
Fertilizers are critical for agricultural yields, but transportation costs make access to them in rural Africa 3x the price. Safi Organics uses a modular pyrolysis technology to produce region-specific biochar fertilizer from local organic matter, dropping the cost and consistently increasing farmers’ access and yields for a wide variety of crops.
Kevin Kung is currently a PhD student working in the Reacting Gas Dynamics Group on designing a more robust system for converting organic waste into solid fuel under resource- constrained settings. His interest is in the intersection of waste management and sustainable human development. Since 2011, Kevin has been running Takachar in Kenya—which seeks to turn unmanaged agricultural residues into char, a useful material for many products. Currently the project has paying customers and operational profitability, with the largest market in low-toxin mosquito coils. Not only does this project help manage urban organic waste, but it also creates income amongst local farmers. As an undergraduate student, Kevin studied physics at Princeton followed by a year in Cambridge. Kevin is currently developing the second-generation waste-to-char technology for India, under the support of the MIT-Tata Center for Technology and Design.