Pee to Power: Teen Girls Debut Urine-Fueled Generator

by Maggie Carr

Last week at Maker Faire Africa, four Nigerian teenage girls presented a generator powered by—wait for it—pee.

Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, all 14, and Bello Eniola, 15, invented the machine, which separates hydrogen from urine with an electrolytic cell, purifies the hydrogen, and pressurizes the resulting gas through a generator to power a lightbulb. According to the girls, one liter of urine can produce up to 6 hours of electricity.

There is much discussion on Maker Faire’s project page as to whether this is a sustainable model for small-scale energy production in developing nations—and the consensus seems to be no. However, Geraldine Botte, inventor of the urea-electrolysis process, suggests that the young inventors work with an engineer to find more applications for their generator. Botte suggests that this technology could potentially cut down on energy usage at wastewater treatment facilities.

And have we mentioned that these gals are all under the age of 16? You go, girls!


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