Pinelands Regional Middle School; Tuckerton, N.J.
Team Members: Mikaela Crowley, Jon Kubricki, Christopher Naples, Bridget Zarych and Stephen Kubricki (Team Advisor)
The “Eco Scienteers” investigated viable alternatives for cooking where wood is replaced by biomass waste products; such as peanut shells, pine needles, banana peels, sugarcane waste and corn stalks. The project included methods of preparing both peanut shell and pine needle materials for briquetting and the design of low-cost, easy to ship mini-presses. The students developed more than one design and all of the presses were shown capable of exerting enough force and pressure to produce effective biomass briquettes. The mini-compound double lever press was the most effective press and was used in making the briquettes. Using biomass briquettes will reduce the amount of trees that are cut down in order to provide wood as cooking fuel, reduce the amount of money families and orphanages have to expend on cooking fuel, and serve to promote conservation where deforestation is a major problem.