It is all over the Internet and news, three Nigerian school girls have invented a urine-powered generator that can produce electricity for 6 hours from a single litre of urine!
Really? Sadly, no.
I can’t find an original source for this story, where did it come from? [was it here?] Are there really some Nigerian school girls with a urine-powered generator or is this just a hoax? Either way, all those journalists that repeated the story really should be ashamed of themselves, it is so obviously wrong and/or untrue.
The first red flag is the “6 hours of electricity”. Electrical energy, is not measured in units of hours any more than distance is. Any real science journalist would spot this immediately.
And then there is the urine itself. Read about this generator and you will see that the girls are separating the water in the urine using electrolysis. Think about this for a second, electricity is consumed to separate the water into hydrogen and oxygen which are then burned in the generator to create more electricity.
Since we have to obey the laws of thermodynamics, AKA conservation of energy, no system can create more energy than it consumes, including this one. Therefore there is something else going on here, the generator is not running on urine. At best they have invented a method of turning some electricity into less electricity.
Once again journalists who really should know better are so desperate to write stories and provide content that they don’t bother to engage their brain at any point and ask the simple question “is this story true?”. They end up printing risible nonsense and looking really stupid and force me to debunk what is, at best, noting more that a really nice, but wrong, school project and, at worst, just a hoax.
Look up “solar tree Fibonacci” on Google for another example. This story is still repeated across the Internet by news and technology sites despite it being thoroughly and completely debunked.
Here are just some of the idiots repeating this “news”: