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A Urine Powered Generator : Maker Faire Africa

A Urine Powered Generator : Maker Faire Africa
Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 · 168 Comments Possibly one of the more unexpected products at Maker Faire Africa this year in Lagos is a urine powered generator, created by four girls. The girls are Duro-Aina Adebola (14), Akindele Abiola (14), Faleke Oluwatoyin (14) and Bello Eniola (15). 1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity. The system works like this: Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen. Along the whole way there are one-way valves for security, but let’s be honest that this is something of an explosive device… Related:  Waste to Energy

Discovery May Lead to the Creation of Biofuel from CO2 in the Atmosphere Michael Adams is a member of UGA’s Bioenergy Systems Research Institute, Georgia Power professor of biotechnology and distinguished research professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Scientists at the University of Georgia have discovered a way to transform carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products, possibly allowing scientists to make biofuels from CO2 in the atmosphere. Athens, Georgia – Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves a smaller carbon footprint. Now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. Publication: Matthew W. Source: James Hataway, UGA News Image: UGA News

15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat From a sleeping bag that charges your gadgets to entire buildings warmed by body heat, scientists are harvesting the heat emitted by humans as a source of renewable energy. But the latest development in thermoelectric energy generation doesn’t come from a high-tech lab at MIT; it comes from Ann Makosinski, a 15-year-old Canadian girl who developed a flashlight that is powered by the heat from a human hand. With the aim of reducing the number of single-use batteries that are thrown in landfills, Makosinski developed the innovative flashlight, which can be developed cheaply and deployed to populations that can’t afford electricity to light their homes. To create the thermoelectric flashlight, Makosinski used Peltier tiles, which produce electricity when heated on one side and cooled on the other. Makosinski sees the flashlight as more than just a novelty; the technology she’s working with could help prevent the unnecessary use of batteries, which leak toxic chemicals into the ground.

Infographic Of The Day: Are U.S. Cities Like Detroit Really Dying? Flight to the suburbs, urban decay, ruin porn--we've all become yawningly familiar with these tropes of modern migration. But a set of fascinating new maps based on data from the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census shows that, if you look really closely, those ho-hum trends aren't as simple as they seem. Would you believe that buried in the downtown heart of supposedly dead Detroit, there's actually been an influx of residents? You practically need a microscope to notice, but as DataPointed points out, you can clearly see a "speckled blue island surrounded by a sea of red" right smack in the city center. DataPointed calls this phenomenon "growth rings"--a clear ring of new suburbs circling the outskirts of the city, with declining areas inside it, and then a pulsing core of resurgent growth at the center. San Francisco: And New York: But the most tragic map is, of course, reserved for New Orleans, whose population base was devastated by Katrina:

Atomic Goal - 800 Years of Power From Waste Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times Ted Ellis of TerraPower working on a fuel system. Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times Ash Odedra, wearing glasses, the principal design engineer at TerraPower in Bellevue, Wash., a company that is being led by Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold, a fellow Microsoft billionaire. The quest is for a new kind of nuclear reactor that would be fueled by today’s nuclear waste, supply all the electricity in the United States for the next 800 years and, possibly, cut the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation around the world. The people developing the reactor work for a start-up, TerraPower, led by Mr. (Mr. “The hope is that we’ll find a country, with China being the most likely, that would be able to build the demo plant,” Mr. Perhaps one of the most intriguing arguments supporters make about Mr. In contrast, the TerraPower reactor makes more plutonium from the uranium 238 for use as fuel, and so would run almost entirely on uranium 238.

Science in Action Winner for 2013: Elif Bilgin | @ScientificAmerican Elif Bilgin, winner of the 2013 Science in Action award, a $50,000 prize sponsored by Scientific American as part of the Google Science Fair. Credit: Elif Bilgin “Genius,” Thomas Edison famously said, “is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” He would have found a kindred spirit in Elif Bilgin, 16, of Istanbul, Turkey, winner of the 2013 $50,000 Science in Action award, part of the third annual Google Science Fair. Bilgin spent two years toiling away on her project to develop a bioplastic from discarded banana peels, enduring 10 failed trials of plastics that weren’t strong enough or that decayed rapidly. The ingredients to make Bilgin’s plastic are relatively benign. Bilgin is also a finalist in the overall Google Science Fair for the 15-16-year-old category, and will fly, with the other 14 contenders, to the company’s Mountain View, Calif., campus for the awards event in September. My colleague, Rachel Scheer, interviewed Bilgin. I would choose James D.

ited Nations News Centre - Nearly 870 million people chronically undernourished, says new UN hunger report 9 October 2012 – Almost 870 million people, or one in eight, are suffering from chronic malnutrition, according to a new United Nations report released today, which shows a sharp decline in the number of undernourished people over the past two decades, but warns that immediate action is still needed to tackle hunger particularly in developing countries. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 (SOFI), which was jointly published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), reveals that the number of hungry declined more sharply between 1990 and 2007 than previously believed. The new estimates are based on an improved methodology and data for the last two decades, the agencies said in a news release. The world has the knowledge and the means to eliminate all forms of food insecurity and malnutrition

Stanford scientists use 'wired microbes' to generate electricity from sewage Engineers at Stanford have devised a new way to generate electricity from sewage, using naturally occurring "wired microbes" as mini power plants, producing electricity as they digest plant and animal waste. In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, co-authors Yi Cui, a materials scientist, Craig Criddle, an environmental engineer, and Xing Xie, an interdisciplinary researcher, call their invention a microbial battery. They hope it will be used in places such as sewage treatment plants, or to break down organic pollutants in the "dead zones" of lakes and coastal waters where fertilizer runoff and other organic waste can deplete oxygen levels and suffocate marine life. At the moment, however, their laboratory prototype is about the size of a D-cell battery and looks like a chemistry experiment, with two electrodes, one positive, the other negative, plunged into a bottle of wastewater. Of course, there is far less energy potential in wastewater.

GSF 2013 : Project : Going Bananas!-Using Banana Peels in the Production of Bio-Plastic As A Replacement of the Traditional Petroleum Based Plastic The banana fruit’s peel was selected for this experiment because it is a waste material rich of starch-according to Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology, the proximate composition of a banana peel is shown below. Items Content (g/100 g dry matter) Protein: 8.6±0.1 Fat: 13.1±0.2 Starch: 12.78±0.9 Ash: 15.25±0.1 Total dietary fiber: 50.25±0.2 The banana peel is something we throw away every day, but little do we know, it has much more efficient uses. According to The Packaging Bulletin Magazine’s January issue, it is a proven fact that starch and cellulose are important raw materials used in the bioplastic industry (Packaging Bulletin, 2009). Starch consists of two different types of polymer chains, called amylose and amylopectin, made up of adjoined glucose molecules. The 9th and 10th pilot experiment I had conducted had been successful in producing plastic, but had started to decay after only 3 days.

Center for Social Inclusion This Microbial Battery Makes Power And Water From Poop And Pollution | Co.Exist | World changing ideas and innovation The idea of sewage-powered devices is not new. In fact, it’s existed for more than a century. But finding a particularly efficient (and cost-effective) version of microbial fuel cell technology has been an ongoing challenge for engineers. A new “microbial battery,” however, looks like a breakthrough on the efficiency side of the equation. Researchers at Stanford University say they’ve developed a battery that can convert some 30% of the energy of dissolved organic matter in wastewater into electricity, the same proportion of energy that solar cells can harvest from sunlight. Here's the science: Researchers Yi Cui, Craig Criddle, Xing Xie, and their team realized that the oxygen in their microbial fuel cell design was causing problems. So the researchers got rid of the membrane setup. Still, there’s a couple of caveats. "It's a very simple device," Criddle says. [Image: Electricity via Shutterstock]

Student finds new way of turning plastic into biofuel [CAIRO] A method for generating biofuel by breaking down plastics using a low-cost catalyst will be developed further in the United Kingdom next month (16 July). The process was developed by a sixteen-year-old Egyptian student, Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad, from the Zahran Language School in Alexandria, Egypt. Faiad won the European Fusion Development Agreement award at the 23rd European Union Contest for Young Scientists — involving 130 competitors from 37 countries — held in Finland last year (23–28 September). Her prize is a week-long placement at the Joint European Torus (JET) facility — the focal point of the European fusion research programme — at the UK-based Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, UK, where Faiad will present her project and receive help with its development. Faiad proposes exploiting Egypt's high plastic consumption, which is estimated to be around one million tonnes per year.

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