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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Minnan yu

Ammonia production has the highest emission out of any industrial chemicals. It creates 1% of the world's emissions and uses 80% of the natural gas we produce. But the use of ammonia is vital for modern agriculture as it is a key chemical for crop photosynthesis.

Nodulate explores a new method of ammonia production using the symbiosis of legumes and rhizobia. The organic material is grown quickly using aeroponic technology and will then be anaerobically digested, creating a new source of ammonia that is carbon negative and energy-efficient.

Show Location: Kensington campus: Darwin Building, Lower ground floor

Minnan Yu is a design engineer with experience working in product planning, prototyping, product development, and manufacturing. He previously worked for sustainability-driven start-ups including Loowatt, sewage-free toilets that capture human waste and turn them into energy; and NIO, one of the most innovative electric car manufacturers.

Since joining the Innovation Design Engineering program, he has been focusing on agricultural projects to improve food security in sustainable methods. He has worked on several projects in the area and together they have received over £30,000 of grant money. His group project Grounded Carbon was one of the semi-finalists of the Terra Carta design challenge.

Proposed early system implementation.2.5% of land in the UK will be covered by solar panels before 2050. The space under the panels is difficult to use. In this case, aeroponic units growing ammonia-rich legumes can be implemented to create a local source of ammonia.
White clovers growing in an aeroponic container.