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Four African Girls Create Generator that Uses Urine as Fuel

Four teenage girls: Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, and Bello Eniola figured out a way to use a liter of urine as fuel to get six hours of electricity from their generator.

The invention was displayed at the annual event Maker Faire Africa, Lagos, Nigeria, an event that showcases ingenuity. The idea of using urine as fuel is not new but Bola, Biola, Toyin and Eniola came up with a practical way to put the idea into action and many households can really appreciate this.

How It Works

As explained on the blog of makerfaireafrica.com website, its process is itemized below;

  1. Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen.
  2. The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, and then into a gas cylinder, which looks similar to the kind used for outdoor barbecue grills.
  3. The gas cylinder pushes the filtered hydrogen into another cylinder that contains liquid borax, in order to remove moisture from the gas. Borax is a natural mineral, commonly used in laundry detergent.
  4. The hydrogen is pushed into a power generator in the final step of the process.

You might be wondering; wont hydrogen pose an explosion risk? The smart girls used one-way valves throughout the device as a safety measure. The urine to power technology needs to evolve further before such a system is feasible, at least as far as applications like powering generators used in most African households go.

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Rapid Pipeline Inspections: Where Does GWUT Stand?

One of the longstanding problems facing the global oil & gas industry has been how to efficiently detect corrosion under insulation (CUI) in pipework. Over the years, a plethora of non-destructive testing (NDT) solutions have been developed to solve this problem with varying degrees of success. One technology that stands out however, is Guided Wave Ultrasonic Testing (GWUT).
Guided Wave Ultrasonic Testing works by generating mechanical stress waves that propagate along an elongated structure while guided by its boundaries. The generated waves can travel a long distance with little loss in energy, thus making them efficient.

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Robotic Crawlers: The Smart Approach to Pipeline Integrity Management

We are in an era where the use of robotic systems to create simplified solutions to business challenges takes precedence. The robotic crawler is one of such highly efficient systems.

In a research article on the benefits of robotic crawlers by GE, it is stated that one third (540,000 km / 335,000 miles) of all pipelines worldwide are considered unpiggable because of access and valve restrictions, multi-diameter designs, impassable fittings and a myriad of other configuration issues.
Nevertheless, regulations exist that ensure these pipelines must be inspected on a continuing basis and that safe working conditions must be maintained to guarantee a long and profitable life span. Failures in pipelines usually result in incidents that can have devastating impacts on life, reputation, production, management and the environment.

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Iron Rhino: Difficult Times Call for Creative Measures

With the epileptic power supply in most parts of Nigeria and most recently, the rise of petrol price to N145/ liter, Nigerians have found it expedient to plan their day to day activities to achieve more with less.
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to iron some clothes urgently and then you experienced a power cut after some seconds of ironing? Very frustrating!
The recurring nature of this particular problem is what prompted a Nigerian innovator- Ayokunle Adeniran, an alumnus of Covenant University, to find a solution. Ayokunle’s invention is called the “Iron Rhino”, a pressing iron that does not need electricity or coal to work! Sometimes innovation from Nigeria seems very difficult, as many factors tend to be militating against creativity. However, successful people have learnt to put their excuses behind and forge ahead.

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Flying Robots – The New Face of Aerial Inspections

Unmanned aerial vehicles (also referred to as drones) have been used in a lot of applications lately, such as photography, movie-making, aerial surveys, and even in warfare, where they have shown distinct advantages in reconnaissance and attack. However, their commercial use in the energy sector is just getting under way, and is rapidly gaining popularity due to their versatility and wide range of applications.

The world’s biggest oil and gas companies are turning to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) rather than people, for inspecting and monitoring offshore rigs, pipelines,storage tanks, flare stacks and other infrastructure.

“UAVs are safer and more cost-effective than a lot of inspection techniques that are presently available. They are ideal for inspections in difficult-to-access areas or areas which are unsafe for workers.” says Kayode Adeleke, Senior Executive Vice President of RusselSmith Group, which is also a provider of aerial inspection services.

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Mini ROVs: The Underwater Inspection Game Changer

Right from the early 1950s, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) have been used for a variety of science, military, and salvage missions. These missions include photographing deep-sea animals, recovering torpedoes from the ocean floor, servicing underwater oil & gas structures, and locating historic ship-wrecks.

The need for a smaller version of the ROV arose due to the need for increased portability, the necessity to penetrate harder to reach areas and to possess more versatility.
The answer to these problems came in the form of the Mini Rover ROV, the world’s first small, low cost remotely operated underwater vehicle. It was designed and built by Chris Nicholson of Deep Sea Systems International, Inc. in 1983.

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Taking Innovation Beneath The Surface

Organisations require innovative technologies to ensure their assets remain in top functional condition and their life span extended in a cost-effective manner.

Those who continually strive to provide these innovative solutions to maintain quality service with utmost regard for safety are highly sought for within the oil and gas industry.

One area where we see the highest potential for growth and innovation is Subsea operations. It is estimated that by the end of 2015, the international oil Companies operating in Nigeria will have sold at least 250,000 barrels per day worth of equity in onshore and shallow water producing assets in the oil producing Niger Delta region (Source: ‘Review of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry 2014’ by PWC). This represents the single highest opportunity for indigenous companies to participate in the upstream sector.

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