Lab work

Lab work exercise 1. Students’ Predictions and Reasons for Predictions

No. Student’s predictions Reasons for predictions
  Orange peels will rot. It will be covered with fungus and deteriorate.

Paper will remain unchanged longer than other nature-friendly waste products

Bread will be covered with fungus and then rot.

Piece of banana will melt/degrade

Banana peel will gradually rot

Temperature in aquarium will increase as products start to rot

The air content will change. One expects to have some fermentation to take place to produce alcohol-like substance if we put too much water.

Most of the products, except for paper are organic, meaning that they decay frequently. The paper is bleached to be white and probably has chalk added to it, so it would get destroyed after other pieces of waste deteriorate.

Bread+fruits+sugar +yeast are what boot legers used to produce alcohol. I’m confident that if we distill our substance we can produce some alcohol.

  1. The temperature inside the aquarium or the jar will start to increase during the first several weeks when all these products start to ferment and rot/degrade. The temperature will reduce only when all products degrade/rot completely. It does not happen over 3 weeks.
  2. The appearance of each item of litter changed little after one day, yet after three weeks most products ‘melted’ to become a part of the uniform substance. After 1 week there
    3.   Litter ferments and decays in the jar.

4    Break decomposed the fastest followed by the piece of banana. Banana peel and organ peels decomposes slowly. Paper did not decompose at all.

  1. My predictions did not get fully fulfilled because in my predictions I ignored the importance of oxygen in reactions. It appears that when the lid was closed and there was only a limited amount of oxygen the reaction took place more slowly. I expected all products to fully decompose over 3 weeks yet in fact they only partially decomposed and started to ferment.
    6.   Using graph paper and papers one sees that garbage started to change partially. Bread, and peels had fungus formations. Paper did not change at all.
  2. Indeed, the pattern to the litter that decomposed is that it starts to rot gradually shrinking the peel, or the banana. The litter that did not decompose at all, like Paper tended to dry out and remain unchanged.
  3. Speaking about the difference in the decomposed rate of same type of litter in various  locations in aquarium or jar one has to note that decomposition was affected by the amount of liquid in different parts of the jar and by the amount of oxygen. Technically if there is no oxygen at all, decomposition would be extremely slow caused by anaerobic bacteria. In the absence of such bacteria it would halt. In presence of much oxygen decomposition would intensify. In presence of water, the decomposition would also intensify and probably turn to fermentation (caused by yeast in bread).
  4. As for the difference in the decomposed rate of various type of litter in same layer or location in aquarium or jar one should note that it did not differ much. The difference can be attributed to the presence of decomposition-conducive factors (such as more bacteria in the specific area, air bubbles, more water.
  5. As for general conclusion that I can draw from my data and the data from the other groups I understand that landfills are not the solution to the garbage problem we have at present simply because landfills do not make garbage decompose, yet rather store it in one place. In order to make garbage decompose, it is necessary to introduce some bacteria that would specifically target different components such as paper (cellulose) or those bacteria that produce oxygen as a result of their physiology. It is necessary to aerate the landfill, have moisture and enough decomposing bacteria to process the waste.

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