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Implementing A Bioconverter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Brookhaven Township is a suburban community on the north shore of Long Island, New York. In the second half of the twentieth century, two major areas of concern have been the energy crisis and the ongoing problem of refuse disposal. Due to the rapid growth and development rate of the Long Island region, it has become increasingly difficult to find a safe, efficient solution to these problems. In addition, significant space restraints are a key limiting agent in the quest for an answer. Although Brookhaven Township, a generally middle class sector of Suffolk County, has searched for a viable means of dealing with these issues, none has been found to date. With time growing short, it has become increasingly necessary to make a decision and find a better solution to both the energy and environmental problems of the area.

The bioconversion process could prove an effective way to lessen the impact of these problems. Organic waste may be converted into biofuel (generally methane) and odor-free effluent. The biogas may either be refined for sales or used to power an electronic generator. The effluent may be used as fertilizer. This method not only can produce electricity more inexpensively than the rate currently charged by Long Island Lighting Company, but also could reduce the flow of garbage entering landfills by 40 percent.

In the spring of 1994, we conducted a model recycling program and collected organic refuse from approximately 35 households in Brookhaven. The response to our project was extremely positive, both from the community and the local government. We propose to tour a working bioconversion plant in Orono, Maine, use the knowledge we gain to build a prototype bioconverter, and collect data from its operation to present to government representatives. s



Students: Andrea Kurtz f Elizabeth Scheps

Teacher-Advisor: Melanie Krieger


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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