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Can you imagine that when you peel a banana you may hold in your hand a new form of bio-plastic? According to this teenager inventor you do!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

/ by Sajjad Sarwar
What comes to mind before you discard your banana peel? Certainly not the consideration of its use to reduce petroleum-based pollution and create bio-plastic, yet this is exactly what Elif Bilgin, 16, from Istanbul, Turkey, sought to achieve and successfully accomplished. Winner of the 2013 Science in Action award, Google’s third $50,000 annual competition, she addressed the need for environmentally friendly alternatives with practical resources and easy-to-attain banana peels.
Elif Bilgin,a student-scientist, has spent two years experimenting with ways to produce a bioplastic out of used banana peels—and now her really hard work has paid off.
The teenager has been selected as a finalist in this year's Google Science Fair.
Bilgin was selected to bring her innovation to the Google Science Fair on 21 September, where she'll compete with 14 other students, all hand-picked from across the world.
In her research, she learned that starch and cellulose are used elsewhere in the bioplastic industry (such as from the skin of mangoes) and made the leap that banana peels might be suitable feedstock sources as well. She hopes that the use of the bioplastic could replace some of the petroleum-based plastics in use today for such applications as insulation for electric cables and for cosmetic prostheses.
Bilgin hopes to one day attend medical school and dreams of creating a greenhouse made entirely of waste!
Brilliant minds of a variety of ages continue to discover alternative methods for sustainable energy, let's hope people in charge will use them to help humanity and the planet as well!

Credits: Google Science Fair

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