With dreams of Mars, this young activist is working for a greener future on Earth



CNN

When he was just 15 years old, Kazumi Muraki created a small, portable device to capture carbon from the atmosphere. Seven years later, the Japanese chemist is looking at how to convert this trapped carbon into fuel.

As a young boy, Muraki was never interested in science, he told CNN, until his grandfather gifted him the children’s novel “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” by the late Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy.

Muraki says that the titular character goes on a quest to find a planet suitable for human life and settles on Mars. Amazed by images of the red planet and blue sunsets, 10-year-old Muraki made it his life’s mission to get to Mars.

Since then, he says, he began researching what it would take to live there.

“I discovered that the atmosphere of Mars is (made up) of 95% carbon dioxide,” which is a lethal substance for humans. He adds, “If we want to live on Mars, we have to remove carbon dioxide from Mars.”

He realized that his research to remove carbon from the Martian atmosphere could also be useful here on Earth. “CO2 is the main cause of the climate crisis,” he says, adding that removing it from the air is one way to curb it.

In 2015, Muraki Hiyassy created an AI carbon capture device the size of carry-on luggage. It’s intended for home and office use, so anyone can help stop global warming from anywhere, he says. Hiyassy works by drawing in air and filtering it through an alkaline solution before releasing it again.

Now, it’s on to the next stage of research: carbon recycling. His company in Tokyo, the Carbon Recovery Research Agency, is working to make alternative fuels from captured carbon.

“We’re now making diesel from carbon dioxide,” he says, adding that it may be available in the next year or so.

Meanwhile, he still dreams of the Red Planet: “I want to be the first man (to land) on Mars.”

To learn more about his inventions, watch the video above.

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