Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Arturo Gutierrez

    Arturo Gutierrez

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 12:17 p.m.

    That was a well thought out project. I appreciated how every aspect of capturing the atmospheric CO2 was considered down to the use of it in fuel cells. I have a few questions for you:

    1. Is there a specific reason you chose manganese catalysts? How eco-friendly are they to produce and use?

    2. How might coating your fuel cells with potato biostarch plastic affect the efficiency of the fuel cell?

    3. How efficient is the current artifical leave technology in coverting the CO2 to glucose?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 06:29 p.m.

    Thank you for your feedback! A lot of research was considered while developing our artificial leaf technology. Manganese catalysts were chosen because they most closely resemble the molecules which facilitate photosystem 2 in chloroplasts. Essentially, the manganese catalyst neutralizes the charge of the photons. The complex produces manganese oxides which are used to facilitate the process. Afterwards, it oxidizes molecules with an exchange of electrons. The fact that manganese can be found in multiple oxidation states gives it the ability to hold electrons at different levels. Professor Emad Aziz of Helmholtz Center of Materials and Energy along with investigators from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterial Science at Monash University have tested these manganese catalysts, and found them to be vital to the future of artificial photosynthesis. In addition, there are many ongoing research projects which are attempting to produce these catalysts in a safe manner. Recently, these complexes “have been synthesized via a low-temperature solvent-free method in a very short time,” (Shen). According to investigators from the American Chemical Society, this “fast, inexpensive, and eco-friendly solvent-free method has the potential of being used in scaled up syntheses of these molecules,” (Shen)

    Secondly, the potato starch bioplastic insulation should ideally increase the output of the glucose fuel cell. Fuel cell designers strive to minimize heat loss within the system, and the insoluble bioplastic is an eco-friendly alternative to other insulation materials. The insulation is needed for thermochemical stability in varying environments. It is necessary to engineer proper insulation for the fuel cell because the leaves are meant to be placed in most any geographical locations.

    Thirdly, most of the current artificial leaf technologies are still in the prototype stages. They are not as efficient as we envision our innovation to be. Some major differences exist between our proposal and the existing leaves, as stated in our research paper. Some of the current artificial leaves don’t imitate photosynthesis, but contain photovoltaic cells to generate solar energy. These leaves do not reduce greenhouse gases, nor do they increase the oxygen content in our atmosphere. The inclusion of glucose fuel cells to artificial leaves are our own improvement to artificial leaves. The benefits of these leaves will be three-fold. Carbon dioxide will be utilized in artificial photosynthesis that takes place in the leaves. Meanwhile oxygen will be emitted as a byproduct. Additionally, the resulting glucose will be used to generate electricity. The prototypes of the fuel cells have shown to produce 24 electrons per unit of glucose. Other studies have indicated that these fuel cell prototypes can produce up 10 μW cm-2, with a limited supply of glucose. Research in labs can be conducted to increase the efficiency of our leaves.

    Moreover, this green technology holds the potential to mitigate greenhouse gases globally, while increasing atmospheric oxygen content.

    Best Regards,
    Team Cogediv

  • June 8, 2015 | 10:03 p.m.

    I really liked your idea, creating artificial systems that can photosynthesize without the trace minerals that actual plants require, a very smart idea. I have two questions:

    1) If the glucose produced is used to generate electricity what are the breakdown products of the glucose? Presumably the carbon sequestered in the glucose is not released as CO2 but remains sequestered in some other format?

    2) Does the water source for the artificial plants need to be pure or can they run on otherwise contaminated water such as possibly even seawater? Given the water shortages currently being experienced in many parts of the world the ability to support photosynthesis without using fresh water would be particularly advantageous.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 07:59 p.m.

    We appreciate your feedback. Thank you!
    The leaves serve a dual purpose of producing electricity through the fuel cells and providing a source of quick energy through glucose. It is true that if the carbon sequestered in the glucose were released as CO2, the whole idea would be counterproductive with minimal impact. If the glucose, were to be extracted from the leaves, then the sequestered carbon would be consumed by people in need of quick energy to maintain homeostasis. Only certain populations would need to utilize this function of the artificial leaves since they may have a dangerously low supply of food. The carbon would not be released as carbon dioxide directly from the leaves in either case. Our team has considered two different methodologies, if the glucose were used to produce electricity, for dealing with the sequestered carbon. One way would be to extract the gluconolactone which results from the net equation. Gluconolactone is an FDA compound, which has many purposes. In fact, it is used for acne-creams and as a sequestrant, acidifier, or a curing, pickling, or leavening agent. This compound can also be hydrolyzed into glutonic acid. Another way to solve the issue would be to transport the resulting carbon to a local underground sequestration zones with high pressure for long term storage. The EPA estimates 1,800 to 20,000 billion metric tons of CO2 can be stored underground in the United States. However, this methodology poses some engineering concerns which would need to be addressed. More research would need to be conducted to remedy the issue of actually transporting the gas.

    Additionally, this artificial leaf can run on contaminated water, and even seawater. If actual plants are exposed to salt water, most of them will start wilting and losing their water content. This is because they are placed in a hypertonic solution which causes the net movement of water to be out of cells. However, our artificial leaf is not a biological material composed of cells. The mechanisms which facilitate artificial photosynthesis and the glucose fuel cells are embedded in a matrix of resin. However, some other issues may arise such as the accumulation of contaminants and salts on the surface of the leaf, which may hinder its functionality. To remedy this issue, we plan to strategically place the leaves in an arrangement that doesn’t promote the accumulation of these compounds. This green technology will be especially advantageous for arid geographic locations with limited supply to freshwater.

    Best Regards,
    Team Cogediv

  • Icon for: Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones

    Judge
    June 9, 2015 | 09:21 p.m.

    Not being any sort of fuel cell expert, I am curious as to the state of this technology. Does a glucose fuel cell exist that can be embedded in the resin of a artificial leaf? What does this look like?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 06:48 p.m.

    Hello,

    Thank you for your comments!

    Glucose fuel cells are new technologies that have recently been introduced to the scientific community. Currently, glucose fuel cells do not exist that are embedded in the resin of an artificial leaf. Our proposal is to utilize these emerging fuel cells to take artificial photosynthesis a step further. The chemical energy from the resulting glucose can be converted to electricity, which can be supplied to a local area such as a factory or home. The fuel cell uses solid-state materials since they are the most simple and reliable. The efficiency of the solid-state catalysts can be “improved further by roughening or grafting onto porous materials,” (Ho). It has been found that a single glucose unit can produce 24 electrons. By using platinum electrodes, studies have shown to generate up to 10 μW cm-2 based on a minimal amount of glucose (Ho). Clusters of artificial leaves have the potential to produce great amounts of glucose and will thus result in a large power output. The inclusion of fuel cells creates an eco-friendly source of energy that has the potential to be used in personal or industrial settings.Our proposed fuel cell for this purpose will resemble a microchip, which is very compact and thin. Multiple fuel cells will be embedded within the resin of the artificial leaves. The utilization of these glucose fuel cells will provide a source of green energy while mitigating greenhouse gases.

    Best Regards,
    Team Cogediv

  • June 10, 2015 | 01:54 a.m.

    This is a very creative concept. My a couple questions for the team:
    1) Out of curiosity, what inspired this project?
    2) If the glucose is harvest to use a food source in developing nations, how will you store the glucose in a safe way, free of microbial contamination? How would you balance the need for a sophisticated storage system with the need for the general population of these nations to get the glucose out?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:38 p.m.

    Before settling on this issue, I discovered an article about artificial photosynthesis that could aid production of oxygen in extraterrestrial environments. It was fascinating discovering that such technology was under development. It piqued my interest and I proceeded on to research more about this system. Our team then decided that the existing prototypes could be innovated to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our idea of the artificial leaf includes many modifications such as the capability to produce green energy through glucose fuel cells, possible extraction of sugar, and usage of different catalysts to facilitate the process more efficiently.
    In addition, we have wonderful science teachers who have motivated and inspired us to develop ideas to solve environmental issues. We’ve had many class projects that were aimed to solve these problems. Once, we even engineered a sea-glider that had the capability of collecting information on the ocean, in order to facilitate bioremediation of oil spills. It aimed to release nutrients in areas of oil spills to promote activity of Sulfate Reducing Bacteria and General Aerobic Bacteria. Over our entire sophomore year, we were able to acquire lots of skills and information. To supplement our knowledge of the environment, our biology teacher has consistently educated us on various biological processes that naturally reduce greenhouse gases like photosynthesis and ocean acidification (even though it’s not completely a good thing).
    Furthermore, my whole family has been going green the past few years, as evidenced by our 48 panel, 12.8kW capacity solar panel system, recently purchased hybrid car, and maybe even because my dad was born on World Environment Day!
    Secondly, sugar, properly stored, has an “indefinite shelf life because it does not support microbial growth,” (Probert). In fact, some manufacturers utilize sugar to protect food from spoilage and inhibit growth of food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and Clostridium botulinum. Additionally, the storage systems would be locally positioned so that people in third world countries can have easy access. An idea our group has been considering is including a dispenser within the storage facility, which compacts the glucose into a rounded pill form.
    Thank you so much for your time,
    Team Cogediv

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Presentation Discussion

  • Small default profile

    Srikanth Kondeti

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 01:16 p.m.

    Great to know the concept. Best Wishes to the team

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 10:14 p.m.

    Thank you! We really appreciate it.

  • Small default profile

    Caleb Johnson

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 03:21 p.m.

    It seems to be a nice idea however what makes the artificial leaves a better alternative to planting more trees?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 09:27 p.m.

    Indeed, planting more trees seems to be the obvious choice for mitigating greenhouse gases. However, growing each plant requires a consistent supply of nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen throughout its lifetime. Recently, a study has predicted that plants would sequester less carbon dioxide over the next 100 years due to nutrient limitations in the soil. Simulations found that plants will absorb significantly less carbon dioxide than in previous times due to projected nitrogen limitations in the northern hemisphere and phosphorus limitations in the tropics. It is also important to consider that most plants lose their leaves in the fall and thereby lose their ability to photosynthesize. Our innovation provides a bio-engineered technology that functions year-round. Thank you for your interest in our project!

  • Small default profile

    Ms. ES.

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:09 p.m.

    So very proud of you…much sucess in your future educational endeavors.

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 07:21 p.m.

    Thanks for your support!

  • Small default profile

    Katie M.

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 04:19 p.m.

    Hello Divya, Conner, and Glenn, your presentation is amazing! I love the detail you go into regarding the leaf especially the composition and structure. I just have one question; How do you plan on structuring your leaves in the world? Are they meant to be overlain on roofs or be made into artificial trees and plants?

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 10:29 p.m.

    Thank you so much for the feedback, Katie. We plan on arranging the leaves on roofs of homes, factories, and other buildings in overlapping arrangements to maximize the energy production. Ultra-thin wires resembling the stems of flexible vines will transfer the energy from the leaves. The leaves will also be attached to pipes and chimneys that emit immense amounts of CO2. Areas with high CO2 emissions will be targeted. That’s an interesting idea you brought up— these leaves could potentially be made into artificial trees and plants as well. The wires could be modified further to resemble stems of plants. As for trees, the wires could converge at a centralized “trunk,” then lead to the respective locations.

  • Icon for: Matthew Feng

    Matthew Feng

    June 8, 2015 | 09:07 p.m.

    This is an intriguing idea, but I have a few concerns. How will the glucose be extracted from the leaves? Where will these artificial plants be placed? Do you foresee problems will animals mistaking the fake plants as real plants, and possibly damaging them? How do you plan on embedding fuel cells into the leaves? Will you be combining the leaves to form a network, like a tree? Lastly, what did you use to create your animations? They are made very well.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 07:08 p.m.

    Thank you for taking the time to review our project.
    Firstly, the glucose can be extracted from the leaves through a special extraction resin that forms a thin membrane at the top of the leaf. Dowex Monosphere Anion 77 resin is one of the most efficient resins which facilitate the extraction of glucose with other catalysts. The glucose will essentially accumulate at the top through this process. Our proposed fuel cell for this purpose will resemble a microchip, which is very compact and thin. Multiple fuel cells will be embedded within the resin of the artificial leaves. The utilization of these glucose fuel cells will provide a source of green energy while mitigating greenhouse gases.
    Our group has considered the possibility that animals may damage the leaves. If the leaves are used to make artificial trees and plants, they will be under the same risk of damage as other actual plants are. Most animals will not interfere with the plants, recognizing that the leaves are synthetic. As stated in the previous comment, “we plan on arranging the leaves on roofs of homes, factories, and other buildings in overlapping arrangements to maximize the energy production. Ultra-thin wires resembling the stems of flexible vines will transfer the energy from the leaves. The leaves will also be attached to pipes and chimneys that emit immense amounts of CO2. Areas with high CO2 emissions will be targeted.”
    Finally, our team has purchased online video software called WeVideo which has stock animation available for use with subscription. The end of the video has been filmed by members of our team.

  • Icon for: Calvin Kinzie

    Calvin Kinzie

    June 8, 2015 | 10:22 p.m.

    This is a good idea, but how resistant are these leaves to intense weather? What is your price estimate for one of these plants? Why is this better than planting trees?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 10:01 p.m.

    These leaves are extremely resistant to intense weather. The glucose fuel cells and the catalysts that imitate photosystems I and II in chloroplasts will be embedded in a matrix of synthetic resin composed of raw renewable materials. This resin is insoluble in water and relatively immune to breakage because of its flexibility. In addition, the material is also fully biodegradable, non-toxic, and non-hazardous. The process of producing the resin doesn’t yield any harmful substances from combustion as well. Moreover, the raw materials used for the resin are “readily available at competitive prices on the market,” (Universiteit van Amsterdam). Prof. Gadi Rothenberg and Dr. Albert Alberts of University of Amsterdam have led the worldwide investigation regarding this synthetic resin.
    The cost of these leaves will depend on the availability of the catalysts required for the fuel cells and artificial photosynthesis. Once the potential for artificial photosynthesis is recognized by our society, these catalysts will be produced in larger quantities by labs and private companies. As stated above, the resin itself is inexpensive as it is made of raw renewable resources. Once the technology has been perfected, these leaves can be mass produced in eco-friendly factories powered by green technology.

    Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). “Chemists develop fully biodegradable and recyclable synthetic resin.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2011.

  • Small default profile

    Sunil Nagabhushana

    Guest
    June 9, 2015 | 05:31 p.m.

    Great Idea. I read an article that said the average temperatures around the world in 2047 would be hotter than any highs recorded in the past 150 years. We recently celebrated “World Environmen day – 6/5” and how many planted a sapling? To be frank, i did not. I agree that the bright young minds need to come up with new ideas to tackle this critical issue. I wish the team all the very best. Please do send me an email on the status/progress on the project. I am very much interested.

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 09:14 p.m.

    Very true. Our generation has the capacity to generate incredible solutions to critical issues in our world. Artificial leaves have a tremendous potential to remedy problems our environment is currently facing. We will definitely keep you updated on the progress of the project. Thank you for your interest!

  • Small default profile

    Vince McCoy

    Guest
    June 9, 2015 | 07:21 p.m.

    How far along research has come to actually implement an artificial leaf? Tried googling artificial leaves – got lots of decorative ideas!. Tried “artificial leaf” and that gave cool results. Is this solution to all global warming/ climate changes?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 09:09 p.m.

    It is true — decorative leaves are currently trending more than artificial leaves. We need to change this by educating our society. Our scientific community has recently started developing prototypes of these leaves. The potential for artificial photosynthesis has been realized and many research groups are attempting to discover readily-available catalysts which can facilitate this process. The benefits of our artificial leaf are three-fold. Carbon dioxide will be removed from the atmosphere and utilized in artificial photosynthesis that takes place in the leaves. Meanwhile oxygen will be emitted as a byproduct. Additionally, the resulting glucose will be used to generate electricity. So, this one innovation has the potential to produce green energy, mitigate greenhouse gases, and increase atmospheric oxygen!

  • Small default profile

    Gurushankar

    Guest
    June 9, 2015 | 10:49 p.m.

    This is a great idea! It would be interesting to come up with a metric to estimate the amount of CO2 removal for each artificial plant.
    Good luck to the team!

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 03:22 p.m.

    Thank you! Estimating the amount of CO2 each leaf can remove would depend on a few different factors like concentration of CO2, water, and availability of sunlight. However, research has shown that the current artificial photosynthesis methodology is much more efficient than in actual plants. Upon further testing, the mechanism can be perfected to remove optimal amounts of CO2.

  • Small default profile

    Kanth

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 11:53 a.m.

    Great point. Let us plant more trees from now on. It’s an eye opener for all of us.

  • Small default profile

    Prash

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 12:04 p.m.

    Divya n Team,
    Very good team work and appreciate your efforts.
    Everyone should learn about the importance of the TREE by now.

  • Small default profile

    Mrs. Cumberland

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 08:27 p.m.

    So proud of all of you! I still remember your Andy Goldsworthy art projects at the Isaac Walton League. I hope you win!

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 03:23 p.m.

    Thank you Mrs.Cumberland! Yes, those projects were so much fun!

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 12, 2015 | 12:18 a.m.

    I can’t believe that it has been so long since elementary school!! I still remember it fondly, thank you so much for your support Mrs. Cumberland!

  • Small default profile

    Indira

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:04 p.m.

    Excellent work. Keep it up.

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 07:22 p.m.

    Thank you for your time!

  • Small default profile

    Mrs. Besser)

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:06 p.m.

    Great Job! So proud of you guys! =)

  • Small default profile

    Kannan K

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:06 p.m.

    Wish this concept come to reality sooner.

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 09:17 p.m.

    Definitely. As more people become educated of the potential of the artificial leaves, more research will be conducted to find optimal configurations.

  • Small default profile

    Sanhith

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:44 p.m.

    Guys,
    It’s innovative presentation and well explained.
    You guys should do more work like this.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 10:39 p.m.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    We will definitely be keeping up to date on this information in the future.

  • Small default profile

    Sanju

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:48 p.m.

    Wonderful information Guys. Keep it up.

  • Small default profile

    NIRMALA

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:50 p.m.

    Good presentation and people should follow this. Let’s GO GREEN

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 10:38 p.m.

    Yes — GO GREEN!

    Thank you for your support!

  • Small default profile

    Krishna Murthy

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:53 p.m.

    Team work always pays off. Great work!!

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 07:22 p.m.

    It definitely does! Thank you!

  • Small default profile

    KV Prashanth

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 12:46 a.m.

    Hi Divya & team
    Good work performed by you & your team. I would really appreciate you & your team effort. Keep going & GO GREEN

  • Small default profile

    Suneetha kondeti

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 01:52 a.m.

    Hi Divya – Great thought and good work by your team.All the best for your future doings.

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 07:23 p.m.

    Thank you for your feedback!

  • Small default profile

    Amit

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 10:17 a.m.

    Interesting idea! But, Is it practical! Did you ever work on return on investment! while talking about poor countries, do you think they can afford investing on artificial leaves while starving for food and clothes.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 07:51 p.m.

    That is a valid point, however the third world countries will not be the ones investing on artificial leaves.
    In a global economic standpoint, good inventions will reach the needy. For example AIDS affects a large majority of third-world countries, yet vaccines are still being sent to them. Even though they may not be able to afford it, other nations may lend a helping hand. The Clinton Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation charities are very good examples of the industrial world reaching out to the poorer nations. We expect similar responses. In addition, the leaves have the capability of reducing greenhouse gases, which are globally circulated.
    As more research is conducted in this domain, the efficiency of the system can be improved. Possibly, different catalysts can be used to facilitate the process faster. Once the technology is perfected, its output will counteract the initial cost of production. The current prototype is already more efficient than actual leaves.
    Likewise, hybrid cars initially cost well over $100,000. With mass production, the price has significantly decreased. In fact, last weekend we purchased a hybrid car with almost twice the mileage of an average car.
    If there is more need, there will be increased demand. In our free market, this will result in more manufacturers, decreasing the cost per unit.
    Thank you for your interest in our project!

  • Small default profile

    Amit

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 10:11 p.m.

    Divya,

    You have all valid Points; but talk about return on investment and the technology you are proposing in detail. how much do you need spend, and how much time will it take to recover that. and why only artificial leaves.

  • Small default profile

    Abhinav

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 10:37 a.m.

    WOW!
    This is amazing technology.
    My friend goes with you at Poolesville.
    I am a great supporter of you guys.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:45 p.m.

    Thank you!
    We appreciate your support.

  • Small default profile

    G Srikanth

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 11:49 a.m.

    Kudos to the team…….
    Fabulous thoughts and great articulation.Wish this idea will come soon into picture.ALL THE BEST to the Green Team…..

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:43 p.m.

    Thank you, we appreciate your feedback!

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    Shobha Rao

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 01:41 p.m.

    Dear Divya,
    Great to know that you are leading. Keep going.

    Best wishes,

    Shobha auntie and Ram uncle

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:43 p.m.

    Thank you so much Auntie and Uncle for supporting our project!

  • Small default profile

    Watchpixel

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 03:13 p.m.

    This seems to be a good concept however unsure on the feasibility.
    Don’t you think it is strange that you have gained so many votes in such a short time.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:30 p.m.

    Thank you for checking out our innovation!
    I have responded to the same issues below, please refer to that post. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

  • Icon for: Conner D

    Conner D

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:36 p.m.

    Adding to what she said, all of our best effort was saved to the end. Our team had finished exams today, and had plenty of time to contact our friends and family.

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    Mrs. Rivera-Rivera

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 03:24 p.m.

    Good to know. Go Falcons! We can make a big difference.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:41 p.m.

    Definitely! Thanks so much!

  • Small default profile

    Sanjuktha K

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:41 p.m.

    Team,
    Very informative presentation. Good work. All the very best!

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:41 p.m.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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    Shreya Gunda

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:41 p.m.

    Good work Divya! Good luck with your idea!

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:40 p.m.

    Thanks very much!

  • Small default profile

    Siya Behl

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:41 p.m.

    Great idea! I hope it works!

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:40 p.m.

    Thank you for your support!

  • Small default profile

    Samantha Wesley

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:43 p.m.

    Hello Team Cogediv,
    This seems to be a great concept that might be a tad bit far fetched. I have a few concerns:
    1) Your animations seem to be from the web. Did you credit them anywhere?
    2) You seem to be gaining votes rapidly and I see that you have made fake Twitter accounts in order to gain votes. I think you should be playing fair.
    3) Are you trying to imply that people from third world countries should eat bio-engineered leaves? This could raise ethical issues.
    Good luck and play fair!

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:33 p.m.

    Hello Ms. Wesley,

    Most successful innovations of the past have also been coined “far fetched.” It is the job of our generation to think of new ideas which have the potential to remedy major problems our world is facing. Likewise, space travel may have seemed far fetched at some point, but now we have satellites, rovers, and spacecrafts exploring our solar system.
    Addressing your first question, our team has purchased online video software called WeVideo which has stock animation available for use with subscription. The end of the video has been filmed by members of our team.

    Thank you for bringing to our attention your observations and concerns. Obviously, all votes will be under strict scrutiny from the Innovate to Mitigate Staff. Most likely they are keeping track of all votes in a database. They will be able to validate the twitter and facebook posts. I am also aware that our teachers from our school are monitoring these activities very closely. Our team would not risk being disqualified from the competition just to gain votes. I believe you have been misinformed. If you believe otherwise, please direct me to the fake twitter accounts that we have supposedly created to gain votes. You should search the hash tag “Innovate2015” to view tweet votes for this project. You will find people from our community who have chosen to advocate our project. Our exams have ended today, so we have had extensive time to publicize our innovation. We have contacted all family, friends, and acquaintances to review our project.
    Lastly, people from third world countries will not be eating the bio-engineered leaves, as mentioned in our video and research paper. These artificial leaves will be used to produce glucose, which can be extracted. The glucose can be used as quick energy for people who are in dire need of food. They can temporarily maintain homeostasis between their spread out meals.
    Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • Small default profile

    Kari Michels

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 11:15 p.m.

    Hello team,

    Great project!

    You mentioned using catalysts? Can you elaborate more?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:18 p.m.

    Thank you for your interest in our project!

    A lot of research was considered while developing our artificial leaf technology. We chose to use manganese catalysts because they most closely resemble the molecules which facilitate photosystem 2 in chloroplasts. Essentially, the manganese catalyst neutralizes the charge of the photons. The complex produces manganese oxides which are used to facilitate the process. Afterwards, it oxidizes molecules with an exchange of electrons. The fact that manganese can be found in multiple oxidation states gives it the ability to hold electrons at different levels. Professor Emad Aziz of Helmholtz Center of Materials and Energy along with investigators from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterial Science at Monash University have tested these manganese catalysts, and found them to be vital to the future of artificial photosynthesis. In addition, there are many ongoing research projects which are attempting to produce these catalysts in a safe manner. Recently, these complexes “have been synthesized via a low-temperature solvent-free method in a very short time,” (Shen). According to investigators from the American Chemical Society, this “fast, inexpensive, and eco-friendly solvent-free method has the potential of being used in scaled up syntheses of these molecules,” (Shen).

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    Vishnu

    Guest
    June 12, 2015 | 06:06 a.m.

    Kudos Team.
    It is awesome idea.
    Go ahead and do wonders.

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    Libby Hillard

    Guest
    June 12, 2015 | 10:23 a.m.

    I am so proud to work at Poolesville and to have the chance to learn so many amazing things from students. Really loved the Q & A. Great Job. Ms. Hillard

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    Rachelle Klein

    Guest
    June 12, 2015 | 09:15 p.m.

    Amazing work! I am so proud of both of you!

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Judges’
Choice

Usage of Photosynthetic Artificial Leaves and Glucose Fuel Cells for Reduction of Greenhouse Gases

For hundreds of years the human population has been burning fossil fuels and removing important vegetation from our planet without as much as a blink of an eye. This in turn has caused the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to skyrocket to unforeseen levels. They could be mitigated by implementation of artificial leaves with the addition of glucose fuel cells. The leaves serve a dual purpose of providing green energy and a source of carbohydrates. They will consist of a resin with embedded catalysts that facilitate the entire process. Essentially, the catalysts chosen will be replicating photosystems I and II in chloroplasts. The resultant glucose will be used to convert to electrical energy by the fuel cells, which consist of solid-state catalysts encased in a potato starch bioplastic insulator. Large groups of these leaves in an area can be used for personal and industrial purposes. Also, the glucose could be periodically collected and supplied to starving people with an immediate need of energy. Countries such as Burundi and Sudan would be immensely benefited as they can use the glucose produced for consumption and reducing greenhouse gases. The cost of manufacturing these leaves could be offset by the fuel cell electricity production and glucose extraction from the leaves. They can be arranged into overlaid structures that enable maximum gas capture. Alternatively, real plants require more maintenance such as nutrients which may not be supplied consistently. These leaves are self-sufficient and are proven to be ten times more efficient.