Orange peel mix wins Google science grand prize

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Living through one of her country’s worst draughts inspired 16-year-old South African Kiara Nirghin’s winning Google science fair entry, Fighting Drought with Fruit. Her biodegradable, sustainable, orange peel superabsorbent polymer (SAP) mix proved more effective than the most used commercially available version. SAPs are mixtures of powders that can hold up to 300 times their weight in water and are used to help combat drought. Many SAPs are acrylic-based and thus not biodegradable. The orange peel SAP is biodegradable and uses waste products from local juice manufacturers as its main ingredient. It is much less expensive to produce than current…

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