16-year-old South African girl invents drought-fighting super material from orange peels

August 10, 2016 by  
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In the midst of South Africa’s worst drought in recorded history, one Johannesburg schoolgirl has created a super absorbent polymer that could change the way crops are grown. The polymer is created from simple, readily available recycled materials – orange peel and avocado skin – and it’s capable of storing hundreds of times its own weight in water. Kiara Nirghin’s project ” No More Thirsty Crops ” won the Google Science Fair’s Community Impact Award for the Middle East and Africa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwRmICCVY_Q Considering that South Africa’s agricultural union has been pleading with the government for subsidies to help weather the recent water crisis , Nirghin’s project could offer much-needed relief. Her super absorbent material could be used to create reservoirs that farmers could use to maintain their crops at minimal cost. Nirghin knew that other super absorbent polymers rely on chain molecule polysaccharides to give them their power, and her project sprang to life when she learned that orange peel is composed from 64% polysaccharide . It also contains pectin, which is used as a gelling agent in numerous applications. When combined with oily avocado peel and left in the sun, the mixture undergoes a reaction and forms a polymer compound. Related: South Africa is relaxing restrictions on GMOs to fight drought-related food crisis As a Google Science Fair winner, Nirghin has been assigned a mentor from the company to help her develop her idea further, including potential tests on the field. Soon, she’ll learn if she’s one of the sixteen finalists in the global competition – but even if she doesn’t make it to the final round, it sounds like she has a promising career ahead of her. + Google Science Fair Via CNN

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16-year-old South African girl invents drought-fighting super material from orange peels

Inhabitat’s Top 6 Green Technology and Science Stories of 2014

December 29, 2014 by  
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This year there was a range of technological innovations that could not only improve our lives but help save the planet as well. We saw a group of 16-year old girls who revolutionized crop yields , an airborne wind turbine that can also bring wi-fi to remote areas and a wave thruster that no one believed could really happen. 2014 also brought us a group of scientists who have vowed to make Nicola Tesla’s dream of wireless power a reality, a blazingly fast train and a mask that can turn humans into fishes .  Vote for your favorite and let us know what you which technology you can’t wait to see. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , “wind turbine” , airborn wind turbine , Altaeros Energies , alternative energy sources , breathing underwater , bullet train , crop yield breakthrough , crop yields , crowdfunding campaign , design concept , diving , EmDrive , flying wind turbine , food production , Google Science Fair , green energy , Guido Fetta , high speed rail , Leonid Plekhanov , Maglev , magnetic levitation , Magnifying Transmitter system , microbattery , microwave technology , microwave thruster , mission to mars , nikola tesla , oxygen filter , oxygen mask , Planetary Energy Transmitter , propulsion , renewable energy , Roger Shawyer , russia , Russian physicists to build Tesla tower , scuba equipment , scuba mask , Sergey Plekhanov , south korean designer , spacecraft , sustainable food , teenage geniuses , tesla , Tesla tower , top inhabitat science story , top inhabitat stories , top inhabitat story , top inhabitat technology story , top inhabitat techology story , top science story , top science story 2014 , top technology story , top technology story 2014 , triton scuba mask , Wardenclyffe Tower

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Inhabitat’s Top 6 Green Technology and Science Stories of 2014

16-Year-Old Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair 2014 With World-Changing Crop Yield Breakthrough

September 24, 2014 by  
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Irish teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow , all 16, have won the Google Science Fair 2014 . Their project, Combating the Global Food Crisis , aims to provide a solution to low crop yields  by pairing a nitrogen-fixing bacteria that naturally occurs in the soil with cereal crops it does not normally associate with, such as barley and oats. The results were incredible: the girls found their test crops germinated in half the time and had a drymass yield up to 74 percent greater than usual. Read the rest of 16-Year-Old Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair 2014 With World-Changing Crop Yield Breakthrough Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2014 , agriculture , Émer Hickey , biochemistry , Ciara Judge , food security , global food crisis , good bacteria , Google Science Fair , increased crop yield , Ireland , Irish teenagers win Google Science Fair 2014 , nitrogen fixing , rhizobia , Sophie Healy-Thow , symbiotic relationship , world hunger

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16-Year-Old Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair 2014 With World-Changing Crop Yield Breakthrough

Colorful Intricate Insects Made from Recycled Prints and Magazines

September 24, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Colorful Intricate Insects Made from Recycled Prints and Magazines Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , green design , IGEPA Benelux paper , origami , Paper Craft , recycled paper , Soon Agency , sustainable design

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Colorful Intricate Insects Made from Recycled Prints and Magazines

15-Year-Old Invents Clever In-Sole Generator That Powers Your Phone While You Walk

August 26, 2014 by  
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Just 15-years-old, Angelo Casimiro has invented a new way to charge cell phones by harnessing the power of people’s steps . The industrious teen has invented a device inserted into a shoe that converts walking into piezoelectric energy, which allows users to power up their phones while on the go. The smart shoe not only creates energy from steps, but could provide important energy for off grid users or people living in developing countries that have minimal access to electricity. Read the rest of 15-Year-Old Invents Clever In-Sole Generator That Powers Your Phone While You Walk Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 15 year old shoe charger inventor , Angelo Casimiro , eco design , Google Science Fair , green design , in sole generator , piezoelectric generator , piezoelectric power , smart shoe , sustainable design

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15-Year-Old Invents Clever In-Sole Generator That Powers Your Phone While You Walk

16-Year-Old Discovers Way to Clean the World’s Pollution With Sunscreen and Pencils

August 14, 2014 by  
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16-year-old Samuel Burrow has found a way to scrub the world clean of toxic pollution using materials found in sunscreen and pencils! The teenager developed a white, smog-busting mixture of titanium dioxide and graphene oxide that can be applied to internal and external surfaces like paint. His solution is strong, efficient, and cheap – and it uses simple ingredients commonly found in everyday products. Read the rest of 16-Year-Old Discovers Way to Clean the World’s Pollution With Sunscreen and Pencils Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2014 , air pollution , environmentally friendly building material , Google , Google Science Fair , graphene , Green Design Competitions , Samuel Burrow , smog-busting building , teenager makes smog-reducing paint , titanium dioxide

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16-Year-Old Discovers Way to Clean the World’s Pollution With Sunscreen and Pencils

KPF’s Pre-Certified LEED Gold Tianjin Riverside 66 Will Be One of China’s Longest Buildings Upon Completion This Fall

August 14, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of KPF’s Pre-Certified LEED Gold Tianjin Riverside 66 Will Be One of China’s Longest Buildings Upon Completion This Fall Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: china , Chinese architecture , concrete ribs , curved building , hai he river , hang lung plaza , he ping lu , James von Klemperer , Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects , KPF , kpf architects , pre certified leed gold , riverfront , riverside 66 , Tianjin

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KPF’s Pre-Certified LEED Gold Tianjin Riverside 66 Will Be One of China’s Longest Buildings Upon Completion This Fall

15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat

July 2, 2013 by  
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From a sleeping bag that charges your gadget s to entire buildings that use body heat to run heating systems , scientists are harvesting the heat emitted by humans as a source of renewable energy. But the latest development in thermoelectric energy generation doesn’t come from a high-tech lab at MIT; it comes from Ann Makosinski, a 15-year-old Canadian girl who developed a flashlight that is powered by the heat from a human hand . With the aim of reducing the number of single-use batteries that are thrown in landfills, Makosinski developed the innovative flashlight, which can be developed cheaply and could be deployed to populations that can’t afford electricity to light their homes. Read the rest of 15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 15 year old , Ann Makosinski , Google , Google Science Fair , Hollow Flashlight , human heat , human-powered flashlight , renewable energy , science fair , teenager , thermal energy , thermoelectric flashlight        

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15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat

DALE: Brilliant Solar-Powered Micro Home is Set on Rails for Mobility

July 2, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of DALE: Brilliant Solar-Powered Micro Home is Set on Rails for Mobility Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: architecture competition , CalTech , clean tech , collegiate design competition , eco design , green design , prefabricated design , Sci-Arc , Solar Decathlon 2014 , Solar Power , sustainable design        

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Sixteen-Year-Old Student Turns Banana Peels Into Bioplastic

June 28, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock As fruit, bananas are perfectly packaged – all the protection they need is provided by their flexible, resilient peels. As sixteen-year-old Turkish student Elif Bilgin discovered, the starches and cellulose contained in their outer layer can also be used to create materials that insulate wires and form medical protheses. Bilgin developed a chemical process that turns the peels into a non-decaying bioplastic that she hopes will help replace the need for petroleum and combat pollution. Bilgin’s endeavors won her the top prize and $50,000 at the Scientific American Science in Action competition, as well as the honor of becoming a finalist in the Google Science Fair . Read the rest of Sixteen-Year-Old Student Turns Banana Peels Into Bioplastic Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ann makosinksi , banana , bioplastic , canada , elif bilgin , fruit , Google Science Fair , marie curie , mountain view , peel , petroleum , science in action , scientific american , thomas edison , turkey        

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Sixteen-Year-Old Student Turns Banana Peels Into Bioplastic

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