Using Exothermic Heat from Biomass for Domestic Use

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Abhishek Ram, North Attleboro, MA
The purpose of this experiment was to determine if electric energy could be created simply through the decomposition of biomass. It was hypothesized that such a feat could happen, given that certain requirements are met. This experiment first began with a smaller experiment wherein various chemical changes/tools of decomposition were analyzed to find which of those would work. Leaves were put in various conditions. Following this, the biomass was left to decompose until decomposition actually commenced and the temperature fluctuation decreased. After this, a Stirling Engine was put on top of the container of leaves to find the amount of kinetic energy that is created from the heat released. From there, a coupling will be put in between the wheel, which will collect the kinetic energy being created by the wheel rotating from the temperature differential between the leaf pile and the external air temperature acting upon the Stirling Engine. This coupling will bring the kinetic energy to an AC (alternating current) generator, where the kinetic energy will be converted into electric energy. In the end, it was proved that a pile of leaves put under the amalgamation of conditions described above would decompose at the fastest rate. Based off these results, it determined that by putting it under the Stirling Engine, it would create mechanical energy. From there, electric energy can be created. To create enough energy for domestic use, one must employ several Stirling Engines and the required amount of leaves. However, these Stirling Engine flywheels will have to be 1-2 meters tall each, and approximately 100 kilograms each in order to sustain the average American family of four. However, in the grand scheme of things, this is still extremely efficient. This project is part of the steps to convert the electricity that energizes the world, which is produced from non-renewable to renewable energy resources. The costs of fossil fuels are increasing and contributing to global warming. Also natural resources are depleting, and it is estimated that by 2060, there may no longer be fossil fuels like gasoline. Therefore it is imperative that the world obtain their energy needs from other sources such as biomass, the resource that was being tested in this experiment. This project is another step in the world’s conversion to renewable energy and therefore, it can be applied to the world itself.