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LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, U.S. — The UK Windcats, a student team at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has designed a prototype of a wind turbine and grain drying system. The system was developed with an eye toward improving the grain quality and health of people living in sub-Saharan Africa, where grain producers are faced with hot and humid weather.

The wind-powered grain drying system was developed with funds the students received as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s P3 — People, Prosperity and the Plant — Program. The P3 Program is a student design competition focused on creating innovative and sustainable solutions.

According to the group, the turbine is powered by the average sustained wind speed and is able to help producers quickly dry the grain, which in turn reduces the potential for mold growth and aflatoxin contamination.

“We are quite convinced that the design we have has the potential to be a solution to the problems of aeriation in drying of grain, and I also think that from all we have seen so far it might be able to solve drying issues even beyond grains,” said Francis Agbali, UK doctoral student and the UK Windcats’ leading member.

The students displayed their prototype along with the other 30 P3 Program recipients April 7-8 in Washington, D.C., U.S.