Meet America’s top young scientist. He turns waste into clean energy.

For his invention of PolluCell, Sahil Doshi was named “America’s Top Young Scientist.” (David Singer/The Almanac)

Identify an everyday problem and solve it. That was the task for 14-year-old Sahil Doshi from Pittsburgh and other contenders in the Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Doshi took on two related problems: Over a billion people need better access to reliable energy, but some energy sources worsen air pollution, already toxic in parts of the world. Doshi’s solution: a low-cost battery powered by carbon dioxide and waste materials. He calls his invention “PolluCell.”

The judges liked the idea and named Doshi one of 10 finalists. This gave him access to an adult scientist mentor and the opportunity to refine PolluCell and build a prototype. At an event in St. Paul, Minnesota, Doshi was named “America’s Top Young Scientist.” He plans to use some of the $25,000 prize money to continue improving his inventions. He will personally present his project to President Obama in May 2015.

“The PolluCell battery really gets at the concept of green energy, as it tackles pollution and lack of electricity, using just recycled materials to generate power,” Doshi told his local newspaper

Do you have an innovative idea? Follow Doshi’s example by entering a science competition for young people and check out the State Department’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology program. Yours could be the next idea to improve lives and change the world.