Meet our Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner for 2020
CRACK for the FUTURE: The use of eggshell waste as a bio-adsorbant of phosphates for water and soil quality
Emma Serisier, Bishop Druitt College
Phosphate run-off into natural waterways from agricultural fertilisers and animal manures can cause eutrophication. Agricultural operations are large consumers of non-renewable fertilisers and large producers of biowaste materials. These issues come at great economic and environmental cost. This study’s aim was to offset these issues by identifying eggshell as a potential biowaste adsorbent, examining its effectiveness in decreasing the orthophosphate concentration in aqueous solutions, and its direct application to run-off areas as adsorbents and soil conditioners. Eggshell was selected based on its abundance, availability, cost, renewability and biodegradable properties. Tests conducted in simulated superphosphate run-off rainwater over 24 hours, indicated that eggshell decreased orthophosphate levels by 62% on average. Testing on eggshell waste, at 6 hourly intervals and in manure/rainwater run-off simulation, showed average orthophosphate reductions of 59% and 55%, indicating effective adsorption. Costs and benefits were investigated comparing the use of eggshell waste for the dual purpose of phosphate adsorption and soil conditioning. A mathematical model and website (www.po4cleaner.com) was developed to calculate cost savings and application rates of eggshell. History has shown that global change is achieved through action on a local scale. The website provides farmers with a free, accessible tool to help counteract their environmental footprint and create global change. This study concluded that the economic and environmental benefits of agricultural use of biowaste products, such as eggshell, as an adsorbent and soil conditioner, appear to have been undervalued and underutilised.
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Meet our Internation Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2019 Winner & Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner 2019
The SODIS Sticker: Development and testing of a Film based detector system for appropriate Ultraviolet Solar Disinfection (SODIS) of Water
Macinley Butson, The Illawarra Grammar School
Macinley has developed the SODIS sticker, an innovative ultraviolet radiation sticker which accurately measures the solar UV exposure required to sanitise drinking water. This is done through a high accuracy transparent UV-sensitive film coupled with a partially UV blocking filter, which allows the SODIS sticker to measure direct UV exposure from the sun and reflected UV from other objects. At just over one cent to produce, it is also a cost-effective and safe way of purifying drinking water for developing communities
Following Macinley winning the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize in May 2019, she went on to take home the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize in August 2019. The Prize was presented to Macinley by HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Read more here about Macinley's win in Stockholm
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Why enter the competition?
Our 2017 and 2019 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize winner, Macinley Butson spoke to us about what a great opportunity this competition is for students with a passion for STEM. Check out the video to find out for yourself!