2013 Sustainability Innovation Winner

Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge – 2013 Winner

  • Evaptainer (Grand Prize Winner)
    Quang Truong, Masters Candidate (MALD), International Relations, Fletcher School

 

Quang Truong
Masters Candidate (MALD)
International Relations, Fletcher School

In developing countries, agricultural produce is typically delivered on open-air, non-refrigerated trucks. Sadly, this lack of refrigeration during transportation can result in up to 45% spoilage in fruits and vegetables. Our team, made up of students from Fletcher, MIT and Wentworth, has been working on an ultra low-cost cold chain solution for fresh produce in developing countries. We use a modular and expansible container that that allows for cooling along all points of the supply chain. Our device essentially consists of a breathable crate with a storage container nested inside. Between the crate and the container is an evaporative media that is supplied with water by a tank mounted at the top of the crate. When water is evaporated from the media into ambient air, latent heat is carried by evaporation from the reservoir into the surrounding environment, reducing temperatures in the reservoir. Evaporative cooling has been successfully employed throughout the world for centuries and we hope that our novel application of this phenomenon during transportation will significantly reduce post-harvest losses, improving both food supplies and livelihoods along the supply chain.