British Collegiate students extract viable production from waste

British West Indies Collegiate at 2015 Science Fair sponsored by Fortis


March 7th, 2015 – March 14th, 2015

Chelsea Stubbs and Logan Elliott from the British West Indies Collegiate did a project for the 2015 Science Fair on Extracting Viable Production from waste.

We realized that Styrofoam is a very prevalent waste material on island and we wanted to find a way to reduce the amount, so we researched different substances that broke down Styrofoam,” Elliot explained.

Stubbs explained, “We found substances such as acetone, but acetone with the Styrofoam produce harmful byproducts, therefore we did some further research and we found a substance called ‘limonene’ found in the round of citrus fruits.”

Elliot added, “We found that this broke down the Styrofoam very effectively and produced no harmful byproduct. In fact it produced a viable adhesive or glue like substance. We experimented with different consistencies and found uses for each one; for example, we created a shellac or sealing-like material and we proved it to be 100 percent waterproof as you can see it’s hydrophobic it will not let any water absorb.”

Stubbs said that they also conducted a test on acids alkalis alcohol and water and no one of them had penetrated the block.

Elliot said, “So in order to test this, we soaked one of the blocks in sodium hydroxide and alkali and then we can put universal indicator on it and it reacts, but if we take the side that we have covered with our shellac it doesn’t go through, there’s no reaction and this lasts for days on end.”

Stubbs added that they conducted a test on the bond strength, “Basically what we did was we bonded together the blocks and the most they could withstand was about 12 kilograms.”

After realizing how effective their product was they wanted to see if they could create their own D-limonene. So they decided to use a still to abstract is from different lines of different citrus fruits.

Logan mentioned that they tested four different citrus fruits and they realized that oranges produce the most and the most potent D-limonene. They placed one thousand one hundred and eleven grams of orange grind into the pressure cooker along with 4 litres of water then heated it up for 3 hours and let the gas come through a copper wire and into a bucket of ice. The ice condensed and produced their distiller through copper wire.

As you can see here this is just one of the flasks that gave out the limonene and so the limonene just floats on top because it isn’t oil. When it came out of the copper tube it was not fully separated so we let it sit overnight to let it full separate. Then we tested our limonene on Styrofoam and then we proved that it is as effective as store bought limonene,” Explained Chelsea.

Logan then concluded, “Basically we have created a product that has the potential to greatly reduce the amount of Styrofoam waste in the Turks and Caicos and the amount of organic waste ‘The Orange Peels’ by doing this we have created a very viable product our glue and it also smells good, like oranges. We call our product ‘STYROBOND’ the shellac is called Styrolac, the glue is called ‘Styroglue’ and the gel is called ‘Styrogel’.