Keen environmentalists know that there are many energy alternatives to fracking for oil – wind water and…urine? Back in 2012, four teenage Nigerian girls ingeniously worked out a way to use their wee to make electricity.
Just fourteen years old at the time, friends Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola created a urine-powered generator which made six hours of electricity. The girls displayed their invention to world the at Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, an annual event which showcases ingenuity.
The girls wrote a blog on the makerfaireafrica.com/blog website explaining how they came up with the brilliant idea, but in simple terms, this is what they did:
- The put the urine into an electrolytic cell, to separate the hydrogen,
- the hydrogen is then run through a water filter for purification and transferred into a gas cylinder
- this gas cylinder pushes the filtered hydrogen through another cylinder containing liquid borax, to remove moisture from the gas. Borax is a natural mineral, commonly used in laundry detergent.
- The hydrogen is then pushed into a power generator and electricity is made.
The girls came up with the practical idea as in Nigeria, generators are often used in the home when the unreliable power grids fail. Their method for using urine to power a generator is one the average Nigerian household can put to good use, easily.
photo credit: Maker Fair Africa