A recent article in Business 2.0 revealed what Dean Keman, inventor of the Segway, has been working on … a solution for not one, but two of the world’s biggest issues — clean water and electricity. An estimated more than 1 billion people don’t have access to clean water and more then 1.5 billion have no electricity.
His prototypes (they are not yet being manufactured in volume) are each the size of a washing machine. The water purifier uses small amounts of electricity to produce 1,000 liters of pure drinking water each day. You can input any kind of water including raw sewage. The electricity generator will burn anything (including cow dung) to generate 1 kilowatt … enough to power 70 efficient light bulbs. The target end-user cost is $1,000-2,000 per machine.
While the benefits of clean water are obvious, the core benefit of electricity is increased productivity in being able to do activities when it’s dark outside. This includes reading, doing homework and working. One of the biggest challenges for the poorest children is that they don’t have electricity in order to study at nighttime.
Keep the innovations flowing!