South Africa is a country where many people still struggle to find a sustainable and constant source of energy. Many of those living in shanty towns or rural areas live off-the-grid. They do not have access to electricity, and therefore find difficulty in cooking and heating water. Many of those people largely depend on collecting firewood, but this is an arduous job, which involves long walks and sometimes a heavy load. Not only is it difficult to collect firewood, it releases smoke within the house that could prove very unhealthy for its inhabitants.

It is therefore great when one hears of two young South African inventors who came up with an alternative way to provide an eco-fuel to those in need. They designed it to be cost-effective, and an alternative to firewood. If it starts to be mass produced, and sold all over Africa, it could significantly help the rate of deforestation that occurs due to the dependence of people on firewood.

It is made by tearing pieces of paper and then adding water to it, then mixing the two until they form a pulp. This mixture is then packed closely together into a mould which when dried forms a kind of brick. Once it dries, the brick is taken and covered in some kerosene, after doing so it is left to dry. Finally, one can light the brick which will burn for quite a while. The inventors call it R3, and say it can be used indoors and outdoors. Interested to see the invention? Check this video.

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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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