African girls’ pee-powered generator raises questions

A urine-powered generator presented by a group of school-age girls at an innovation fair in Africa is generating buzz as a world-changing breakthrough, but a reality-check with the expert who invented the contraption at the heart of the technology might flush those expectations down the drain.

The contraption in question is an electrolytic cell that converts urea — the main compound in urine besides water — into nitrogen, water and hydrogen.