Appleton, WI

System to process sustainable cooking fuel for the Village of Hope in Zambia

The Tesla Charter School InvenTeam Ignite invented a new method of making fuel for cooking and heating in the Village of Hope located in Zambia. The Village currently uses wood charcoal and spends $4,000 per year on wood charcoal which is becoming more expensive and difficult to obtain due to massive illegal deforestation. The InvenTeam developed a sustainable alternative by designing a process to transform locally available elephant grass into a usable biofuel. The grass is charcoalized in a 55-gallon steel drum and then mixed with boiled cassava flour. Briquettes from the mixture are then pressed and dried. One single-arm stacked lever press outputs over 890 N to form one briquette which burns for up to 2 hours when dry.

Recent Team Blogs

February 22, 2018
On February 7th, we had our mid year review. We held our main presentation in Appleton East High School’s auditorium, and our demonstrations in the commons area. We also had food generously donated by Golden Corral! Overall, 48 people attended, including Wisconsin Representative Amanda...
January 23, 2018
January has been and exciting and eventful month for our team. On January 8th, we presented our progress so far to the school board. They seemed to really like it! Not only were they asking us questions about our project and the struggles we’ve encountered, but they also reached out to us...
December 13, 2017
InvenTeam IgniteΔ is successfully progressing towards our end goals. Recently, our local fire inspector came in and discussed safety with members of our team regarding burning briquettes. He toured our facilities and offered advice as to how he would recommend setting up our burning station...
November 20, 2017
So far, November is the month of prototyping and organization. With 23 students on our team, organization originally presented itself as an incredibly daunting task. Modeling ourselves after our FIRST Robotics team, we have divided students into four smaller “functional groups.” Each...