Delphine Oulaï is a 24-year-old lady, an Ivorian doing excellently for herself in the sphere of science and research. She is originally from the Tonkpi region in western Côte d’Ivoire.
After studying law in Abidjan, she became involved in various NGOs, such as Afemira (Women’s Action on the Initiative for the Rebirth of Africa), which led her to visit villages In the west, plunged into darkness at nightfall.
The remote areas of Côte d’Ivoire are particularly affected by the lack of electricity. In order to overcome this problem, an Ivorian works to develop a light bulb operating autonomously. And the result is rather surprising: to turn it on, just put it in contact with water.
“It always takes time to connect a village to the grid. So I thought we had to find another solution. By doing some research on the Internet, I discovered that there were light bulbs lighting up on contact with water. I then spoke to Daniel Oulaï, my brother, who accompanies our NGO. This Ivorian co-founded an incubation center, which is a collaborative work space, in Man, and set up a grainotèque in Sagouiné, in the Tonkpi region. He picked up one of the light bulbs and provided it to us. “
It is a light-emitting diode bulb (or LED bulb), easily removable.
Daniel Oulaï’s team was therefore able to equip it with a battery, made from a carbon rod coated with magnesium powder. It is a hydro-electric pile, that is, it produces electricity in contact with water. Clearly, when the electrodes of the cell come into contact with the water (electrically conductive, especially when it is salty), an electrochemical reaction occurs on the surface of the electrodes, which generates electricity. This then powers the LED bulb, which lights up.
Moreover, the interest of this system lies in the fact that it allows to recycle the oil lamps traditionally used by the populations, as Daniel Oulaï explains: “The bulbs could be placed in old oil lamps, Whose oil would have been replaced by water. ”