Generate Energy!
Akhil, Age 10, Chennai, India
We all throw away garbage items like perished or left over fruits and vegetables and it goes waste. Do you realize that those wastes can be recycled to generate energy? Believe it! Scientists have been very successful in converting those fruits/vegetable wastes into bio-gas, which can be used for cooking and heating.

Sunshine Chennai Senior Secondary School has explored this concept and did a project as part of NCSC (National Children Science Congress), which was led by Sandhya Ashok, to produce bio-gas from waste fruits and vegetables, which will serve as a substitute for LPG.

Let us understand how this process of converting fruit/vegetable wastes into bio-gas works. First, we stored all the waste fruit/vegetables in airtight containers for two weeks minimum. It started to decompose and smell started to emanate. Through research we found that adding cow down to this mixture increased gas formation – this gas is called “bio gas,” which mostly contains methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
We needed to extract the bio-gas from the container and created a rough sketch on setting up the gas extraction process. One end of a tube was attached to the container and the other end to a chamber (made out of wood) to collect the gas. We them did some smell testing and confirmed that bio-gas was present in the collection chamber. As part of this experimentation, a comparison was done between different vegetables/fruits to determine which yield greater amounts of bio-gas. Presence of citrus fruits increased the production of bio-gas.

The whole experiment was well documented and all observations were recorded in log books as experimental evidence. Our experiment were taken to the workshop conducted by NCSC and was shown to the participants who came to the workshop to collect and share ideas on this project. Later, we discussed our project with the consultant in charge, Mr. B. Satish, and gathered valuable information on bio-gas projects. We are still continuing this experiment and preparing various charts on how to prepare bio-gas and different vegetables/fruits that can be used. All the charts and findings will be presented later at NCSC to a larger audience.

Our intent with this experiment is to make the bio-gas available to common people at a cheaper price using daily waste so it is user-friendly. This could also provide a comfortable environment for our next generations.
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