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This 13-Year-Old Boy Turns Leaves Into Biofuel Energy

Thirteen Year Old Teen, Bryant Liu sees Fallen Leaves as the Source of Energy


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Leaves as the Source of Biofuel Energy?

Bryant Liu will go a long way. Why you ask? Before we answer that question, think about this first. What do you do when you see fallen leaves on your front lawn or on the road? You’d probably ignore them, or if you’re in the mood, just clean them up and throw them in the trash. Am I right? Bryant however, saw this trash differently. He saw it as an opportunity to use these leaves as a potential source of energy.

Leaves as the Source of Biofuel Energy (Photo credit: Pinterest)

We all know the world’s problem regarding the shortage of fossil fuels. It is for this problem, that scientists are trying to develop Biofuel energy to fill the shortage. Biofuel is a kind of fuel that is based on carbon which is stored inside the several living organisms like plants. Scientists are capable of producing bioethanol from the sugar that is found in plants. It is very unfortunate that dead leaves have a substance inside of them that is known as the lignin. This makes it very difficult for the researchers to extract the sugar that is found in dead leaves.

Leaves as the Source of Biofuel Energy (Photo credit: Pinterest)

This is where Liu comes in. He pretreats the leaves with acids and bases in order to break down the lignin found inside the plants. When the lignin is broken down it becomes easier to access the sugar. This was not all. After he pretreats the leaves, he adds cellulose in order to break down the plant cell walls to turn them into simple sugars. After this, he measures the level of sugar that he has accumulated. And ta-da, not only was he able to remove the lignin and extract the sugars, he was also able to increase the level of sugar in the leaves after being pretreated.

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This is absolutely a significant job that he has done. He has found out a technique to extract energy from the fallen leaves of plants.

This freshman from the Rocky Point High Scholl in Rocky Point of New York showcased his eighth grade science project in a competition called the Braoscom masters

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