A group of young entrepreneurs from Guadalajara, Jalisco, has created a prototype of an oven that runs purely on water.
Developed over the past year, the eco-friendly device was made by a social enterprise called Peiskos, which means “warmth by a fire” in Norwegian.
The oven doesn’t use any combustible fuels but instead heats up after water is poured into an electrical input. The current of the water acts as a conduit, which causes it to undergo electrolysis, a process that separates the hydrogen and oxygen atoms and generates energy.
“We wanted to create a machine that allows users to create their own fuel,” said Davide Pallotta, one of the startup’s founders.
“The burning of this kind of fuel doesn’t create any kind of emissions. It is not bad for humans or humanity.”
The Peiskos founders told the tech website Contxto that the idea for the oven was inspired by the needs of society, especially families in Mexico who struggle with “energy poverty.”
They said many people can’t access or afford the energy necessary to cook, light and heat their homes or for entertainment purposes, and are forced instead to burn firewood, which not only contaminates and presents health risks but also contributes to deforestation.
“There are many communities that have difficulties getting services like gas, light or water,” said Edith Ibarra.
“Those distinctive factors shine a light on the type of vulnerable communities we want to work with.”
The six entrepreneurs have already taken their prototype to a squatters’ settlement on the outskirts of Zapopan for testing and to receive feedback from people who could benefit from it.
“There’s no better way to validate your business idea than directly validating it with the user,” Peiskos said in a recent post on Instagram.
The next step for the fledgling company is to secure venture capital that will allow it to expand.
“We’re looking to raise 1 million pesos [US $52,000] to establish ourselves and give us an important push into research,” said Ibarra. “Research and continued experimentation are very important so we can launch our product with the biggest force.”
The Peiskos founders won a startup competition at technology expo Talent Land in April and this month competed in an accelerator event in Mexico City sponsored by the free enterprise organization Enactus.
While the company didn’t come out on top in the latter competition, the young entrepreneurs remain determined to keep moving ahead with the development of their startup.
Eventually, Peiskos hopes to be able to donate ovens to underprivileged communities or sell them at a very low cost so they are accessible to the people who need them most.
Source: Contxto (en)