BTYSTE entrants address climate issues and Ireland’s threatened biodiversity

Carrigtohill, an eco-friendly and inexpensive electrolyte from brown seaweed suitable for use in batteries to generate green electricity, has been developed by two students from Ko Cork.

Seaweed acts as an electrolyte and is made of “abundant, thermostable and biodegradable materials”, enabling the production of renewable electricity in a capacitor that stores electricity, Sophie O’Reilly and Robin Sloane Lee explained that he attends St. Aloysius College.

Their project is one of many at this year’s BTYSTE, where young researchers are working to address the climate crisis, increase Irish biodiversity or ensure more sustainable living while helping combat COVID-19. Examine the potential of natural resources.

The capacitor cells they built centers around sodium alginate, a naturally occurring polymer found in seaweed that grows abundantly where they live.

It exhibits good gelling properties, which are considered essential to the electrolyte, and is inert. When graphite electrodes made of pure carbon are used, there is little risk to the environment or human health.

He tested various combinations in different electrical circuits. “We experienced great success in the pursuit of green energy,” Robin said. The use of sodium alginate in combination with the three other chemicals performed best, while they are determined to increase efficiency even more in the months to come.

Forest fire

Transition year students Alex Roche and Eimier Keenan, who study at Moet Community College in Westmeath, used native Irish plants to create a “breaking a green fire” prototype.

Horrified by the scale of destruction from wildfires – particularly in Killarney, Co. Kerry – they concluded “this will suppress the spread of wildfires while contributing to biodiversity.”

Over several months, he investigated the properties of various native plants taken from gardens, marshes and hedgerows, including their flammability and water content. A high water and ash content and long combustion time worked best.

While oak proved to be impressive, holly was deceptive because it had a high water content but once ignited it was burned brutally due to the volatile oils. Neither of the suitable plants kept a flame independently, so they were deployed in their fire breaks.

What’s more, they supported a wide variety of species, including slugs, birds, insects and mammals, while also serving as a good food source, he confirmed.

Augmented Reality

was determined by Farsad Ahmed Kamran of Kishoge Community College in Dublin to develop “augmented reality glasses” for the visually impaired, which were cheap and flexible enough to improve the quality of life for those who cannot see properly. Can’t or can’t have dyslexia.

In short, I have done. His prototype uses “artificial intelligence and machine vision” to help interpret the world for the visually impaired. His glasses read the words after pressing a button and taking a picture. “It recognizes how far and far away the object is and can predict what it thinks it is seeing,” he explained. “And it can be used with Bluetooth headphones or earbuds.”

I have developed a microcomputer with software to perform the task and use 3D printing to attach it to glasses. However, Farsad believed that it could be made less clunky if it was made in a professional environment. In addition, he stressed that they can be made for less than €100, compared to less flexible products currently available for between €2,000 and €5,000.

rowing machine

The overwhelming need for new sources of electricity prompted three students at Ardskol Riss in Limerick to invent a device for capturing potential energy from a rowing machine. But St. Michael’s Rowing Club members Patrick Stenson, Shane Rafferty and Colm Murphy believed it could easily be applied to treadmills and bicycles.

He built a 12-volt motor that, combined with battery storage and an electrical inverter, could provide power for various home appliances and mobile phones.

Patrick said his clean electric power can fit in when the sun isn’t bright and the wind is blowing low. “I can guarantee there will never be a day when there is no rower training,” he said.

global pandemic

A large number of projects examined ways to reduce the COVID-19 risk and mental health aspects of the pandemic. A notable achievement on this front was a biodegradable face mask made from seaweed fibres, which prevents acne, dermatitis and reduces the spread of respiratory disease. This Kilkie, was produced by Hana Haigg, Liam Ferguson and Ava Walsh of St. Joseph Community College in Clare.

The abundant supply of brown algae along the coastline around Loop Head made this possible. He baked the seaweed at a temperature of 90 degrees, producing a “very crisp powder,” which was later reconstituted into the ingredients used in his face masks.

This year’s projects cover a wide range of topics from health, mental wellness, climate crisis and biodiversity loss – with more than 200 awards awarded in four categories. The overall winner receiving €7,500 in prize money and a chance to represent Ireland in the European Union competition for young scientists will be announced on Friday.

The public can view the projects and other BT Young Scientific and Technology exhibition programs through the portal of the exhibition. more details are here btyoungscientist.com