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With a dream for Mars, this young activist works 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 working on how to convert this captured carbon into fuel.

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

Muraki said that the main character goes on a journey to find a planet suitable for human life and to settle on Mars. Amazed by pictures of the red planet and its blue sunsets, 10-year-old Muraki has made it his life’s mission to go to Mars.

From then on, he said, he started researching what it would take to live there.

“I discovered that (the atmosphere) of Mars (made up of) is 95% carbon dioxide,” which is lethal. He added, “if we want to live on Mars, we have to get rid of the carbon dioxide on Mars.”

He realized that his research to remove carbon from the atmosphere of Mars could also be useful here on Earth. “Carbon dioxide is the main cause of the climate crisis, adding that removing it from the air is one way to limit it,” he said.

In 2015, Muraki created Hiyassy, an AI carbon capture device the size of hand luggage. It’s designed for use in homes and offices, so anyone can help stop global warming from anywhere, he said. Hiyassy works by drawing in air and filtering it through an alkaline solution before it is released.

Now, he’s at the next stage of research: carbon recycling. His Tokyo-based company, the Carbon Recovery Research Agency, is working to create an alternative fuel from captured carbon.

“We are currently making a diesel fuel from carbon dioxide,” he said, adding that the fuel could be available next year or so.

In the meantime, he still dreams of the red planet: “I want to be the first (to set foot) on Mars.”

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

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