Dirt to fuel lighting in Africa

The hope of solving the energy crisis in Africa could rest upon the dirt beneath our very own feet as the discovery of dirt fuelled cells could be the key to Africa’s salvation.

A team from Harvard and founders of Lebônê have been named amongst the winners of the World Bank Lighting Africa 2008 Development. The aim of Lebônê is to develop a series of dirt based fuel cells that are capable of lighting high efficiency LED lamps.

Lebônê        

Lebônê Solutions, Inc. was founded in the hopes of ending the energy and lighting crisis in Africa. Currently in Africa there is a dramatic shortage of electrical power, as 95% of its population is living with no access to electricity (World Bank Millennium Goals Report 2006).

Lebônê offer a unique combination of lighting and energy technologies readily available to all Africans. Its microbial fuel cells are used to charge a battery or cheap super-capacitor used to power LED or PLED lamps.

Lighting in Africa                                             

Lighting Africa is a World Bank Group Initiative that aims to provide people in Sub-Saharan Africa with access to low cost, safe and reliable modern lighting by the year 2030.

To date there is 1.7 billion people worldwide without electricity, with Sub-Saharan Africa being the most affected as presently over 500 million people lack modern electricity.

Concerns of Bloggers

Many bloggers have embraced the idea of dirt fuelled electricity as a way of improving the lives of those living in rural townships with some bloggers labelling it as “Dirt Power” and another saying: “I love the idea of free energy and admire the ingenuity“.

However there are those that are more sceptical to the idea and seem less convinced as one blogger referred to it as: “A feel good for people who like playing in the mud”.

Another blogger suggested that: “At some point, we’ll run out of stuff to burn or we’ll run out of a place to burn it”.

Africa’s Hope

The concept of dirt based fuel cells provide many opportunities to new advances in lighting technologies and as the Light Up The World Foundation would suggest has “the power to illuminate lives” in many third world countries.

Sources: Digg, inhabitat, World Bank

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2 Responses to “Dirt to fuel lighting in Africa”

  1. […] The concept of dirt based fuel cells provide many opportunities to new advances in lighting technologies and as the Light Up The World Foundation would suggest has “the power to illuminate lives” in many third world countries. … Read More […]

  2. Engaging post – I will visit soon:)

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