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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' comments


The judges appreciate the time put into this proposal and your honesty on the associated challenges. Fly ash is a product with varying degrees of toxic elements, depending on the source. If the keratin was able to bind to some of those elements, it seems that the remaining toxins could easily uptake into crops. Residuals could contaminate cropland for decades or more. It is an interesting proposal, but the main concern is that fly ash is mainly a product of coal combustion, and providing a use for fly ash at this point in the global energy transition away from coal would give coal plants another reason to stay open and legitimize their failure to properly dispose of fly ash. In addition, the source of the material could very well disappear altogether as coal plants close over the next 20-30 years. This would mean that the long-term viability of the project would be very limited. It's possible a small-scale laboratory project on keratin and fly ash could be done to gauge the risks of permanent contamination of cropland.

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