Odisha School Girl only one from India at Google Science Fair 2015


Odisha School Girl from DPS Damanjodi is the only one from India for Google Science Fair 2015

I, Sripada Srisai Lalita Prasida, visited many places during my school days before settling down in the pristine hinterlands of South Odisha. I began   my studies in the hilly meadows of Nagaland, then in the Gangetic plains of West Bengal and finally in parts of the Western Ghats that have the distinction of being the secondary centre of origin of rice and the Natural home to more than 50 different aboriginals. Currently, I am living in Damanjodi, famous for the presence of Asia’s largest Bauxite Refinery located in the district of Koraput, Odisha. I am a student of class IX reading in Delhi Public School, Damanjodi. I like to visit nearby villages to observe their lifestyle. They live in harmony with their surroundings by utilizing natural resources, without affecting the ecological web. Their lifestyle revolves around agriculture- in cultivating many varieties of crops. This developed an interest in me to focus on Science to develop something new, related to agriculture. In one of my encounters with a tribal farmer, I came to know about the low utilization of corn cobs, which ignited me to find out some ways to use this agricultural waste. Thus I will pursue a career in Agricultural studies and serve for local people.

Winning the Google Science Fair will boost my insight and help me to work further for solving local problems. The Scientist who created interest in me is Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, the Father of the Green Revolution in India.

google science fair

Summary of the Project


The by-products of man’s actions have resulted in severe waste burden on Earth. Rapid developments in technology and lifestyle have accelerated the addition of contaminants into air, water and land rendering it unsafe for organisms. Release of pollutants from various sources like domestic, agricultural and industrial sectors has dramatically modified the quality of water thereby causing harm to aquatic organisms. In extreme cases, it can even kill aquatic organisms. Waste water released from domestic households contains several harmful residual substances like detergents, oils, colours, dyes and various salts. Agricultural activities add excessive fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides into the nearby water bodies. Effluents released from industries release toxic chemicals like heavy metals, chemicals(organic or synthetic) to the aquatic ecosystems. The best solution to water pollution is to prevent it from happening. Separation of pollutants at source is the best method to control water pollution. This includes physical, biological and chemical separation to convert the dirty water to clean and usable forms before release.

This study reveals a novel and cheap method of cleaning waste water from domestic and industrial sources by utilizing one of the most under-utilized agricultural wastes. The present study is based on the scientific principles of Adsorption by immobilizing the contaminants with the help of corn cobs. Corn is a major crop plant, every part of which is utilized except the cob. In this project an attempt was made to utilize this less-utilized plant part to clean one of the most precious natural resources, water.


From the above observation it was concluded that Corn cobs were found suitable adsorbents because of their high mechanical strength, rigidity and porosity. Hence, contaminants like oxides of salts, detergents, suspended particles, coloured dyes, oil and grease get adsorbed in the surface of the corn cobs. Some of the heavy metals are also adsorbed by corn cobs. If the drain pipe of the household is connected to a chamber having different layers of corn cobs in partition layers or to an S-trap pipe having corn cobs, it will separate about more than 70-80 % of contaminants including suspended particles from the waste water. Similarly the factory out let pipes carrying effluents must be opened to five inter-connected chambers having long slices of corn cobs, pieces of corn cobs, powder of corn cobs, activated charcoal of corn cobs and fine sand for the easy adsorption of TSS and chemical toxicants both organic and inorganic. Corn cobs fitted to bamboos buried on the ground floor of the ponds and allowed two to three weeks to stand can be useful for cleaning of water in ponds, tanks and rivers. This is also useful to clean overhead water tanks of individual households and community tanks.

Thus, Corn cobs adsorb contaminants from surface water and prevent their entry into groundwater. Indirectly corncobs help to decrease the temperature of water by adsorbing the suspended particles which store heat and raise water temperature. These also help in preventing shock loading from hard surfaced parking lots. It is a cheap and low cost method using one the less utilized agricultural bio-wastes of the globe. This will open a new market value of the corn cobs which are considered as bio-waste till date. However, further chemical and physical examinations are necessary to make a marketable product out of corn cobs to adsorb contaminants from the domestic  and industrial effluents.

Advantages of Corncobs:-

01) Simple

02) Efficient

03) Cost effective

04) Eco-friendly

05) Feasible

06) High mechanical strength

07) Locally Available

08) Reusable

09) Cheap Technology

10) Porous

11) Easy to Use

12) No Maintenance

13) No Operational Skill

14) Not edible


Visit Official Google Page for the Project