Irish Teen Wins 2019 Google Science Fair for Using Magnet to Remove Microplastics From Water
An 18-year-old from Ballydehob, in County Cork, Ireland, won the $50,000 grand prize at the 2019 Google Science Fair on July 29 for a project that used magnets to filter and remove microplastics from bodies of water.
Fionn Ferreira, who recently finished high school, according to local media, said in his project report that this method would effectively remove microplastics from polluted water, specifically domestic and industrial wastewater.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Ferreira demonstrates his technique by first adding plastic into water.
He then adds oil, stirs, and drops magnetite into the mix.
Finally, he removes the oil, plastic, and magnetite using a magnet until the water is completely clear.
The teen has won at least 11 other science fair awards, works as a curator at a local planetarium, speaks three languages, and is an accomplished trumpet player, local media said.
Other awards at the eighth-annual Google Science Fair went to students with such ideas as a digital agriculture module designed to harvest tree vibrations for energy (from Tuan Dolmen of Turkey), and a noninvasive continuous glucometer that allows for the regular monitoring of blood glucose concentration without drawing blood (from Celestine Wenardy of Indonesia).
Credit: Fionn Ferreira via Storyful