Teenager invents feed additive for pollution control

Canadian high school student wins award for inventing artificial cells as a feed additive for pollution control in aquaculture.
May 28, 2003

An innovative aquafeed additive for pollution control was amoung inventions by six students from across Ontario, Canada, who swept major and minor Manning Awards for innovative science projects in the Canada Wide Science Fair at the Olympic Oval on the campus of The University of Calgary.

Kara Barfett, a high school student at St. Thomas Aquinas School, London, Ontario, came up with a project focused on artificial cells as a feed additive for pollution control in aquaculture.

\"My fish feed additive converts ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate into harmless byproducts using Nitrosomonas europa, Paracoccus dentrificans and Nitrobacter winogradskyi immobilized in calcium alginate and pectin artificial cells. The resulting bio-filter innovation outperforms technologies used in the aquaculture industry, at a lower price and is a solution to global hunger and pollution,\" explained Kara.

Kara won the Silver Medal and $700 in the Earth and Environmental Science Division, plus $3,000 in two other awards, the right to compete for a trip to the Stockholm Water Conference, and a scholarship to attend University of Western Ontario.

The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been recognizing and encouraging innovation in Canada since 1982. The Young Canadian Program, introduced in 1992, recognizes eight innovative projects selected by a team of judges at the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair. For more information on the Manning Innovation Awards: or Email: