Many developing countries around the world function without electricity, instead using kerosene lamps as a cheap source of light at night and as fuel for cooking.
Yet kerosene is very harmful, both chemically and as a potential hazard. Kerosene doesn’t burn completely, leaving harmful gases for people to breathe in. Used as an open flame for better ventilation, if it were knocked over, a house could be alight within moments.
Kerosene lamps are widely used in the Philippines, and this is why SALt, a startup business founded by Greenpeace Philippines volunteer Aisa Mijeno and her brother Raphael Mijeno, created the SALt LED lamp, which runs purely on salt water.
Made up of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is surrounded by the stuff.
The SALt lamp uses a renewable energy source with no dangerous consequences. The lamp works using a galvanic cell battery, whereby two electrodes are placed within the electrolyte-rich saltwater solution.
Enough power is generated by the lamp to charge smartphones via the USB port and to illuminate a household for eight hours a day for about six months before the electrodes require replacing.
While units are available for pre-order now, SALt intends for its product to be mass-produced and on the market for the public by next year. On its website, SALt states: “our priority is to build lamps for our target communities and for the communities of the NGOs and foundations who will partner with us.”