When he was just 15, Kazumi Muraki created a small, portable device to capture carbon from the atmosphere. Seven years later, the Japanese chemist is researching how to convert this captured carbon into fuel.
As a young boy, Muraki was never very interested in science, he tells 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 says the titular character goes on a quest to find a suitable planet for human life and settles on Mars. Amazed by pictures of the red planet and its blue sunset, at just 10-years-old Muraki made it his life mission to get to Mars.
From then on, he says, he started researching what it would take to live there.
“I found that (the) Martian atmosphere is (made) of 95% of carbon dioxide,” which is lethal to humans. He adds, “if we want to live on Mars, we have to remove Martian carbon dioxide.”
He realized his research to remove carbon from Mars’ atmosphere could also be helpful here on Earth. “Carbon dioxide 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 created Hiyassy, an AI carbon capture device the size of carry-on luggage. It’s intended for home and office use, so that anyone can help stop global warming from anywhere, he says. Hiyassy works by pulling in air and filtering it through an alkaline solution before releasing it back out.
Now, he’s onto the next stage of research: carbon recycling. His Tokyo-based company, Carbon Recovering Research Agency, is working to make an alternative fuel from captured carbon.
“We are now creating a diesel fuel from carbon dioxide,” he says, adding that it could be available in the next year or so.
In the meantime, he’s still dreaming about the red planet: “I want to be the first man (to) land on Mars.”
To learn more about his inventions, watch the video above.