King James I Academy
"We are tackling the idea of pollution caused by batteries. In 2010 on average the people of Britain used over 600 million batteries every year with over 97% of these been thrown into household bins. These 97% of used batteries end up in a landfill where they become toxic. The chemicals in batteries are able to penetrate into the soil, or water systems close to the landfill site. If lithium is released from the battery it can react and cause fires. If lead or mercury are released from the battery in the air they are highly dangerous to human health; leading to birth defects, cancer and even death in extreme cases."
"Our big idea is to create an AA biomass battery. You may wonder what it is? Well it is a battery, which is produces electricity using a biomass material. For our biomass fuel we have chosen to use algae. Algae are a diverse group of aquatic organisms that have the ability to conduct photosynthesis. Algae reproduce very quickly and need only sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and a few inorganic nutrients to grow. In the chloroplast of the plant the energy is converted into chemical energy and store this as food. The sugar is made by proteins and high energy electrons released during the reaction. Stanford researchers have been able to capture the electrons and use them to create electricity. We plan on using the electricity created through the process of photosynthesis to create an AA battery."
"Our idea is beneficial to farmers as in order to set up the battery we will need to work alongside them and set up algae farms. We hope to get grants from the government that will be given to the farmers. This can be used buy equipment for the farm and help with the upkeep of both the algae and any other livestock on the farm."
"Our idea is also beneficial to the environment because most batteries currently used end their life in landfills. By creating an algae battery we will create a renewable battery that doesn’t need recycling. The casing of the battery can be reused and the inside algae replaced with a new supply. The old algae will pose no threat to the environment as it is biodegradable, therefore it will break down safely over time when removed. By growing more algae we are also helping to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as the algae will take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere in order to carry out photosynthesis."