Science Fair Projects



The objective: The ingredients of many common fire retardants and suppressants have both immediate and long-term negative effects on ecological communities. Common active ingredients include toxic chemicals that bio-magnify in food chains or nitrates and phosphates that can cause eutrophication in nearby water sources. The purpose of this project is to determine if a viscous spray made with alginate, a natural, biodegradable compound produced in the cell walls of brown algae, is an effective fire-retardant alternative based on its ability to prevent combustion and burning.


Each trial tested three 3.0g hay pellets with varying levels of alginate exposure [a dry, unsprayed hay pellet (control, pellet A), a hay pellet sprayed 5 times with 0.5% alginate (pellet B), and a hay pellet sprayed 5 times with water (second control, pellet C)]. Each hay pellet was exposed to a Bunsen burner flame at a distance of 5cm from the side of the pellet to the tip of the Bunsen burner, for 15 seconds. Then, pellets B and C were allowed to dry, and all the pellets were weighed to determine the percent mass left after burning. Forty-seven trials were conducted, each involving three pellets, for a total of 141 tested pellets.


Pellet A, the control, burned the most, with a mean of 45.9% mass burned. Pellet B, the alginate pellet, burned the least, with a mean of 16.0% mass burned. Pellet C, the water pellet, burned more than pellet B but less than pellet A, with a mean of 32.5% mass burned.


The gel-like properties of viscous alginate solution prevented burning and combustion consistently better than water. The standard deviation of the mass of burned pellet B was 0.185 while the standard deviation of mass of burned pellet C was 0.355 and for Pellet A was 0.507. This implied that hay pellets sprayed with alginate were much less flammable than those sprayed with an equal volume of water. This finding is significant based on the z test, which suggested an extremely low p-value of <0.00003. These results indicate that alginate could possibly be used as an alternative, more environmentally friendly fire retardant. More studies are necessary to further explore the fire suppressant/extinguisher potential of alginate.

This project tested the novel idea of using alginate - a natural chemical produced in brown algae - as a nontoxic fire retardant and results suggest that a coating of alginate solution reduces flammability more than a coating of water.

Science Fair Project done By Judy J. Li



<<Back To Topics Page.......................................................................................>> Next Topic


Labels : Planet Project| Blue Planet Project, Planet Science| Planet Project Ideas, Planet Projects, Planet Lab| Planet Projects For Kids, Planet Project for Kids| Planet Science Projects, Planet Research Project| Planet Earth Projects, Planet Projects for Middle School, Planet Earth Projects For Kids, Earth Project| Earth Projects| Earth Lab, Earth Science Projects |Earth Science Project, Earth Project Ideas| Earth Science Projects Ideas, Earth Science Project Ideas| Earth Science Fair Ideas, Earth Projects for Kids| Earth Day Kids Projects, Science Fair Projects Earth Science, Earth Science Fair Projects, Earth Science Science Fair Project Ideas, Earth Science Projects for Kids, 5th|6th|7th Grade Earth Science Projects, High School Earth Science Projects, Earth Day School Projects| Earth Science Curriculum Project, Earth Science Projects for Middle School, 8th |9th|10th Grade Earth Science Projects, 2nd|3rd|4th Grade Earth Science Projects, Science Fair Projects for 9th Grade Earth Science, Planet Art Projects for Kids| Blue Planet Projects, Planet Projects Children| Planet Projects For 3rd Grade, Planet Projects Elementary Students| Planet Projects Elementary School, Planet Projects for 5th Grade, Green Planet Projects| Planet Projects Ideas, Planet Projects High School| Pretty Planet Projects


Copyright © 2013 through 2015