We've talked about park lamps fueled by dog poop, and now a group of teens in Africa have developed a generator that runs on urine.
Yes, there's a bit of an ick factor any time we're talking bodily functions, but in areas where electricity is at a premium or not available at all, this innovation could make a huge impact on folks' quality of life. If you're reading this on a computer, chances are electricity doesn't feel like a luxury, but for millions of people the lights don't come on at the flip of a switch.
While turning the lights on might not seem like a big deal, we take electricity for granted in so many other ways, like heating and cooling our homes when the weather is sweltering or freezing. Or in hospitals, where electricity saves lives by powering medical equipment.
How it Works
The generator - showcased at this year's Africa Maker Faire - was developed by:
- Duro-Aina Adebola, age 14
- Akindele Abiola, age 14
- Faleke Oluwatoyin, age 14
- Bello Eniola age 15
One liter of urine can produce six hours of electricity in their generator using an electrolytic cell to separate the hydrogen from the urine. The hydrogen moves through a filtration system and liquid borax, a system that purifies the hydrogen gas so that it can power the generator.
Six hours of pee power means folks in rural and developing areas can generate their own electricity without petroleum products. Can you imagine the impact this could have if researchers could scale it up, so whole cities could run on pee power?
Images via Maker Faire Africa