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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:38 PM

Oh, this? Just some teenage girls from Africa who invented a urine-powered generator

Robert T. Gonzalez

How's this for an innovative startup: four African girls the eldest of which is just fifteen years old have worked together to invent a generator that's powered by urine. The group presented their creation at this year's Maker Faire Africa, and it's so freaking brilliant it makes me want travel back in time and punch 15-year-old me right in the solar plexus.

The Next Web lays out how it works:

Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which cracks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen.
The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.

1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity.

Here's hoping these girls can get the funding they need to take this idea to new heights. Even if they don't, we've got a feeling they're going places.

Read more over at The Next Web.

http://io9.com/5958887/oh-this-just-some-teenage-girls-from-africa-who-invented-a-urine+powered-generator

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Reply Oh, this? Just some teenage girls from Africa who invented a urine-powered generator (Original post)
HarveyDarkey Nov 2012 OP
UnrepentantLiberal Nov 2012 #1
jberryhill Nov 2012 #2
RainDog Nov 2012 #3
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #4
jberryhill Nov 2012 #6
dogknob Nov 2012 #5
burrowowl Nov 2012 #7
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #8
mjjoe Nov 2012 #9
InsultComicDog Nov 2012 #10
Qutzupalotl Nov 2012 #11
Blanks Nov 2012 #12

Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:43 PM

1. That's awesome.

 

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:51 PM

2. "Six hours of electricity"

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:52 PM

3. k&r n/t

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:55 PM

4. Somebody oughta make this viral.

These girls have very promising futures.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:00 PM

6. Oh it has...

This is at least the second time around for DU.

What doesn't go viral is the fact that it is not a net generator of energy. So, after a couple of years you can also get the conspiracy theory about how it was "covered up" go viral too.

Someday, we'll be able to harness all that energy involved in inaccurate reporting.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:55 PM

5. My FOX-Watchin' Neighbor: "I bet they got a whole lotta piss in Africa." n/t

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:02 PM

7. Brilliant!

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:13 PM

8. Incredible!

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:52 PM

9. Actually net loss of energy

From what I've read, this would be useful in reducing the energy required to treat waste, but you aren't going to see urine-powered towns anytime soon.

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/futureoftech/african-girls-pee-powered-generator-raises-questions-1C6956099

Though I still think it's a positive in that context, not to mention it's nice to see kids showing such an interest in science.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:33 PM

10. People who say, Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining

-- you really ought to focus your outrage on the former.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:47 PM

11. "they're going places."

Cute.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:32 AM

12. I have a similar machine.

If you take urine, CO2 and sunlight (even throw in some other trash like coffee grounds, potato peels, apple cores, manure etc) I can convert it into edible materials which power all manner of organisms.

I call it a plant. You may have seen them around.

While I commend young people for working on scientific solutions, we aren't taking advantage of the solutions that are already out there.

If we want to take steps toward solving the energy problem and global warming; the answer to both problems is more plants.

Any solution that involves liquid borax doesn't sound like an environmental solution to me.

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