News

I Think They Pee Standing Up

Urine powered generator created by four teenage girls in Lagos (Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Bello Eniola and Faleke Oluwatoyin).


Four teenage girls in Lagos (Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Bello Eniola and Faleke Oluwatoyin) have created a urine-operated generator. Yes, you read that correctly. Presented at the Maker Fair Africa Lagos 2012 this past week, their invention has quickly caught the attention of the media globally. We'd like to think it's because of the significance of four teenage girls creating something that addresses fuel dependency in Nigeria, while also subverting a widespread assumption throughout the world that women "can't do" science- but we have a feeling it might just be that people are simultaneously fascinated, intrigued, and irked by the generator and 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.

For a country that currently generates between 4,000-5,000 of power for a population of over 150 million (South Africa generates 40,000MW for 40 million people)- Nigeria's energy crisis is definitely not a secret. Reliant on alternative energy solutions, such as power inverters and diesel/fuel operated generators, one might suggest that Nigerians have become somewhat complacent with the government's inability to generate an adequate amount of power for its citizens, or rather they've realized they can't wait for the government to fix the problem and as a response they invest in these alternatives so at least they're not waiting in the dark. (Not to be dismissive of citizens speaking out against the government- Occupy Nigeria was an example of Nigerians voicing their frustrations with the government's inefficiency, particularly in terms of fuel/electricity).

The information available about Nigeria's energy sector via policy reports and analyses demonstrates that the issue is not necessarily capacity, as much as it is policy and incentives (the lack of capacity is extremely profitable for a few Nigerians, say those who import generators, inverters, drill gasoline etc.). People turn to the solutions mentioned above, and while this allows for a somewhat questionable functionality within dysfunction- this urine operated generator addresses at least one of the issues at-hand- reliance upon fuel and its environmental impact.

We're looking forward to hearing how the young girls describe their creative process and how they finally arrived at their invention. The implications of this invention go beyond what they can do for generators- it illuminates that young Nigerians are aware of the problems facing their country and they're not only looking for solutions- they're finding them.

 

Best Music of the Week: Maleek Berry, DJ Neptune x Runtown & More

These are the songs you need to hear this week.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

Maleek Berry "Let Me Know"

Maleek Berry's excellent Last Daze of Summer EP is still banging pretty much everywhere. "Let Me Know" is the latest track off the EP to get the visual treatment. In the romantic clip, Maleek and the girl he has his eye on head to Cape Town.

DJ Neptune "Why" feat. Runtown

DJ Neptune comes through with "Why," the latest single off his upcoming album, G.R.E.A.T.N.E.S.S. The slow-burning tune features the man behind one of 2016's biggest songs ("Mad Over You"), Runtown, and was produced by Del B.

Kae Sun "Stalk"

Ghanaian-Canadian singer Kae Sun is back with a guitar-led dance jam in "Stalk." The new single is paired with a striking, nighttime forrest music video, filmed in his home of Montreal. "Stalk" is the lead track of Kae Sun's upcoming LP due next year.

RMBO x Peta Teanet

RMBO, the solo moniker of Tshepang Ramoba (BLK JKS), is readying the release of his upcoming EP. In the meantime, he's sent over this addictive remix of South African disco artist Peta Teanet. "Chachali Malindela" will light up any dance floor.

Ayo Awosika "You're The One"

Nigerian-American singer Ayo Awosika has played stages across the globe as Miley Cyrus' backup singer. She's now stepping out on her own with "You're The One," a sweet and beautiful love letter to Nigeria.

Yaa Yaa "Life" feat. FanteFante

Ghanaian singer Yaa Yaa has released the motivational and uplifting single "LIie," featuring FanteFante. The song's about shaking off life's troubles and pushing on ahead. Check it out above and grab it on iTunes here now.


Follow our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.

Cape Town Hip-Hop Legend Jitsvinger Drops His First Project In 10 Years

Jitsvinger's latest EP is a mixture of boom-bap, jazz and Afrikaaps lyricism.

Cape Town musician Jitsvinger last released an album, Skeletsleutel, in 2007.

Keep reading... Show less
Music
Zwai Bala produced most of TKZee's hits. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 10 Best Kwaito Producers

Get to know the the 10 most notable old school kwaito producers.

"Kwaito will never die," tweeted the rapper Riky Rick about a week ago.

This was after he'd just released a new single called "Stay Shining." The song features fellow rapper Cassper Nyovest, alongside the Durban kwaito artist Professor, Alie Keys and the DJ duo Major League DJz.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.