When he was just 15, Kazumi Muraki built a small, portable device to capture carbon from the atmosphere. Seven years later, Japanese chemists are researching how to convert this trapped carbon into fuel.
As a child, Muraki was never very 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 says the title character goes on a quest to find a suitable planet for human life and settles on Mars. Mesmerized by pictures of the Red Planet and its blue sunsets, Muraki made it his life’s mission to go to Mars at just 10 years old.
Since then, he says, he began researching what it would take to live there.
“I found that (the) Martian atmosphere is (made of) 95% carbon dioxide,” which is lethal to humans. He added, “If we want to live on Mars, we need to remove carbon dioxide from Mars.”
He realized that his research on removing carbon from the Martian atmosphere could 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 control it.
In 2015, Muraki developed Hiyassy, 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. Hayashi works by filtering the air through an alkaline solution before drawing it out.
Now, he’s on to the next phase of research: carbon recycling. His Tokyo-based company, the Carbon Recovering Research Agency, is working to develop alternative fuels from captured carbon.
“We are now making a diesel fuel from carbon dioxide,” he said, adding that it could be available within the next year.
Meanwhile, he is still dreaming about the Red Planet: “I want to be the first man to land on Mars.”
To learn more about his discovery, watch the video above.