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Four African girls have created a pee-powered generator

Stashed in: Founders, Ecology!, Creativity, Science!, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!, Awesome, Scatology, Africa, science, Energy!

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Makes me with I had taken chemistry in school...

 saw this on reddit yesterday and was excited to shout my wife to come over and look...

That does it, I'm adding Urine to my list of Awesome Renewable Energy sources...

urine energy

 Unfortunately, some simple analysis seems to unravel this story. Disappointing too, as it would have been really cool.

Thank you for the analysis, I agree with your skepticism.

What do you think of this article?

Awww. Reading the debunk comments - that is a practical application of a concept that Cambridge professors came up with, but that the it takes more energy to produce the effect than it turns out is sad. 

There's also the Hindenburg-y effect. Hydrogen generator? Could be more exploded than a gasoline one. :/

Ah, so extracting power from urine is just not practical?

Too bad, they had me fooled.

But yes, now that you mention it, a hydrogen generator sounds quite dangerous!

Here’s 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.

I'm sold. Where can I buy one?

I could heat my house on what I'm literally pissing away...

 Now, all they need is clean drinking water so they can have urine with which to create electricity ;) 

Is there a good way to create clean water using electricity?

If so, we could create a decent feedback loop. 

 Yes. Build well. Pump water. Filter water. Needs electricity; or just a water filter if access to water is above ground. 

Is Africa a country or are these girls actually from some place?

They were at Maker Faire in Lagos, Nigeria:

So I took that to mean they are from Nigeria.

African, in my opinion, is a derogatory word the way Americans use it; similar to the word "negroes," or "haji" (when referring to middle easterners). 

Since Africa is not a country, whereas we don't refer to British as "four European girls" or Chinese as "four Asian girls" this title similarly should reflect the country and not the continent.

My $0.02

Actually we do say "four European girls" or "four Asian girls" if we don't know the country.

Can we assume they're Nigerian? The source article doesn't say so explicitly.

It just says Maker Faire Africa was in Lagos.

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