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This article was published on November 7, 2012

    Forget apps and useless startups: These four African girls have created a pee-powered generator

    Forget apps and useless startups: These four African girls have created a pee-powered generator
    Emil Protalinski
    Story by

    Emil Protalinski

    Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

    What have you built lately? 14-year-olds Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola have created a urine powered generator.

    All over Africa, young men and women have missioned across the country and arrived in Lagos, Nigeria. All they want to do is show off what they have made. Maker Faire Africa is more than your typical startup event: it actually shows off innovations, inventions, and initiatives that solve immediate challenges and problems, and then works to support and propagate them. Put another way, this isn’t just a bunch of rich people talking about how their apps are going to change the world.

    These four girls may not end up doing that either, but their efforts definitely stand more of a chance than yet another hyper local social cloud app. Their efforts should not go unnoticed, because if this is what they’re doing as teenagers, I really hope they have the funding they need to be revolutionizing lives when they’re adults.

    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.

    If this doesn’t motivate you to go out and start thinking about how you can really make an impact, then I don’t know what will. If urine isn’t your cup of tea, then I recommend you go and read Paul Graham’s essay Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas. In particular, pay attention to number three and number seven. Everyone else, go back to trying to figure out if you should target Android, iOS, or both.

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    Image credit: David Lat