Believe it or not, electricity is one of the most abundant resources on the planet, the only thing that is difficult is finding ways to tap into this energy safely.
Many inventors and scientists since Nikola Tesla have discovered ways to solve this problem effectively, but due to the radical change that this would bring to the social structure, these technologies have always been suppressed.
In Africa where central power grids are few and far in between, generators are an everyday part of life. Just recently 4 teenage girls created one of the most cost effective generators that you could possibility think of in terms of fuel, because it’s fuel source, human urine, is widely abundant.
The urine powered generator made its debut at Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, this week. According to the Maker Faire Africa website, this is how the generator works:
• Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen.
• The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, and then into a gas cylinder, which looks similar to the kind used for outdoor barbecue grills.
• The gas cylinder pushes the filtered hydrogen into another cylinder that contains liquid borax, in order to remove moisture from the gas. Borax is a natural mineral, commonly used in laundry detergent.
• The hydrogen is pushed into a power generator in the final step of the process.
The only serious disadvantage to using a hydrogen based fuel source is that it causes and increased risk of explosion. However, the girls have even considered a safety mechanism to prevent this from happening.
An article at Cnet.com explains how this was achieved:
“Hydrogen, of course, carries explosive risks, so the girls used one-way valves as a security measure (whether that is safety precaution enough is unclear). But don’t start saving your bladder output just yet. The blog doesn’t mention where the energy needed to power the electrolytic cell comes from, or whether the electrolytic cell uses more power than the machine generates.”
If plans for how to build such a device were widely distributed this could be an extremely useful tool for people who are left without power for long periods of time, like we are seeing now on the east coast in the aftermath of hurricane sandy.
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J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter-culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intel Hub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio.
You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com
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Contributed by J.G. Vibes of The Intel Hub.