UGA Engineering Professor Gets $1 Million to Work on Milk Cooler

Published Feb. 3, 2014

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Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

A University of Georgia engineer has received $1 million to continue working on a milk cooler designed to help dairy farmers, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, who lack access to refrigeration, according to a news release from the university.

The milk cooler, developed by William Kisaalita, a professor of biological and mechanical engineering in the UGA College of Engineering, uses the principle of evaporative cooling to quickly bring the temperature of milk to a safe holding temperature.

“It’s the same phenomenon that occurs when you jump into a swimming pool and then you come out on a windy day,” Kisaalita is quoted as saying in the news release. “If there’s water on your skin, you will feel cold. This same principle is applied in chilling the milk.”

According to the release, Kisaalita received the funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development in partnership with the Swedish government, Duke Energy Corp., the German government and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Kisaalita’s was one of 12 international projects selected from 475 applications to share $13 million in funding under the USAID program “Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development.”

Related News & Events: 
Aug. 5, 2015

The University of Georgia’s William Kisaalita discussed the challenges of developing a reliable cold chain in Uganda in a recent article on NPR’s The Salt, “Why You Shouldn’t Take Your Milk’s 3-Week Shelf Life for Granted”

William Kisaalita on Winning a 2013 Powering Agriculture Award
Jun. 26, 2014

William Kisaalita of the University of Georgia Research Foundation discusses their refrigeration unit powered on biogas extracted from cow manure. Reusable zeolite plates capture water vapor from the evaporative milk chilling process.

Feb. 3, 2014

A University of Georgia engineer has received $1 million to continue working on a milk cooler designed to help dairy farmers, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, who lack access to refrigeration, according to a news release from the university.