As a run-up to our first annual DACCathon, the OpenAir Collective and University of Waterloo hosted a 26-hour Hackathon (in honor of the UN’s COP26 Climate Conference). The Hackathon was co-hosted with University of Waterloo’s UW Energy Network and the Impact Alliance, but all students – whether enrolled at Waterloo or not – were encouraged to participate.
Teams of students designed pitches for open-source approaches to further carbon removal solutions that can focus on any aspect of advancing the technology: policy, new DACC (Direct Air Carbon Capture) devices, and improvements to research or processes for carbon removal.
Students from eight universities in five countries on three continents joined the hackathon. First, they learned about OpenAir’s work to advance carbon removal from expert presentations by collectors Chris Chung, Dahl Winters, and Chris Neidl. Then they formed teams and designed their own solutions, supported by office hours throughout the hackathon by the previously mentioned presenters plus Dr. XiaYuo Wu, Jeff Feddersen, and Matt Parker.
At the end, each team presented their final designs as part of a concluding session. The top three teams were awarded prize money to implement their designs:
- First place ($1,000 USD): DACC ATTACK (University of Waterloo)
An open-source DACC system using activated carbon.
- Second place: ($500 USD): Nerds Rope (University of Texas at Austin)
A zeolite 13X-based regenerative DAC system utilizing alternating beds to increase carbon capture rate. Using controlled environment agriculture in the form of UT Greenhouses for sequestration, as well as utilization of desorbed carbon.
- Third place ($250): Mr. Goose (University of Waterloo)
Targeted policy towards Federation of Canadian Municipalities for the implementation of Green Procurement in carbon removal technologies.
Congratulations to the winners and thanks so much to all the teams that participated. We are so excited with the results of this hackathon and will continue to run more hackathons and DACCathons going forward!