PhD Candidates Ahmad Shahroodi and Mohammad Zein Aghaji win second prize in Professional Engineers of Ontario Environmental Challenge Competition

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Written by Ahmad Shahroodi

On May 25th, 2017, a team of an engineer (Ahmad Shahroodi, P.Eng. -PhD Candidate, Department of Civil Engineering) and a scientist (Mohammad Zein Aghaji -PhD Candidate, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences), won the 2nd place award at the “PEO Environmental Challenge Competition” in Ottawa.

The Professional Engineers-Ontario (PEO) with the support of OSPE challenged the engineers and students to innovate an economic and environmentally friendly solution to eliminate the high Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. The main and unique challenge of the competition was to eliminate the carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere, while the current approaches focus on reducing CO2 emission (by green solutions or CO2 capturing from the source).

At the competition night, the competitors had to present their proposal plans (general design, feasible and financial studies) to + 200 audience (from government and private entities) and the panel of 6 judges (from academia and industry). The proposed idea of the team was a modern system called the “Adsorption-based Air CO2 Capture & Application (ABACA).” The ABACA is an energy recovering system, designed to adsorb CO2 from atmosphere through two advanced and innovative units. The unique concept and design used in the system made the efficiency of CO2 adsorption, very high. In the proposed system, CO2 is not stored permanently (which is expensive), but it is used for good. The desorbed CO2 is diffused into concrete elements via the third well-designed unit of the ABACA.

The final product will be a more durable and stronger concrete without spending extra energy or cement powder. In addition to the 2nd place award, one year free membership to the Startup Canada and OSPE, an opportunity of article publication in the OSPE Voice Magazine (fall edition), and industrial collaborations were offered to the team.

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