Saturday, November 21, 2015

Aisa Mijeno and her Awesome Saltwater-Powered Lamp

By Anton Antonio
November 22, 2015

Yesterday, the Pro-EARTH Crusaders Facebook community page carries a photo with the caption “We are proud of you, Aisa Mijeno.”  The posted photo earned a substantial number of “likes” and some adoring comments.  Here is a researched news article about Aisa Mijeno…

By Kathlyn dela Cruz
November 19, 2015

MANILA – Filipina scientist Aisa Mijeno has no intention of competing with other inventors of sustainable alternative light sources.  In an interview on radio dzMM Thursday, Mijeno said she is aware that her invention, a lamp that runs on saltwater, may somehow affect businesses offering similar services such as companies producing solar panels.  Some Filipinos have started using solar to power up lights and appliances inside their homes.  Solar panels, though costly, help in cutting electricity bills.  Mijeno, however, stressed that she is not out to compete with anybody, saying she fully supports those who, like her, promote the use of renewable energy.  “Sa akin po kasi, hindi po ako directly nakikipagkumpetensiya sa mga other alternative light sources.  Actually, happy pa nga ako kasi renewable.  Kung renewable po yung means ng page-generate ng electricity para makapagpailaw ng lanterns, okay po ako doon,” said Mijeno, a computer engineering graduate.  She added that her main mission in inventing the SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp is to change the habit of Filipinos living in remote communities of using kerosene lamps and candles.  “Kasi alam naman po natin yung danger po na pwedeng idulot sa atin ng paggamit ng gasera saka ng kandila in case of fire accidents.  Tapos nagre-release po siya ng black carbon na nakaka-cause ng health diseases like lung disease and yung eye problem.  So yun po mainly and ina-address namin,” she said.  Mijeno, who is a member of Greenpeace Philippines, said it was during her personal immersion in Kalinga when she thought of making the SALt lamp.  Mijeno noted that residents in the remote communities in Kalinga have to walk for six hours every other day just to get kerosene to power their lamps.  “Since madalang po dun yung public transportation, wala po silang choice kundi maglakad.  Nilalakad po nila six hours papunta dun sa pinakamalapit na bayan para lang bumili ng kerosene na pangluto saka panglampara na magla-last lang po ng dalawang araw.  Ginagawa  po nila yun every other day,” she narrated.  With the SALt lamp, these people will no longer have to endure long hours walking nor spend money for kerosene.  To run the lamp, they will just have to make a salt water solution, Mijeno said.  With two tablespoons of salt and one glass of tap water, the lamp can run for up to eight hours straight.  Those living in coastal communities may also even just get ocean water instead of buying salt to make their own salt water solution.  They will, however, need to change something inside the lamp every six months.  But this item only costs P100, she said, so they will have to spend P200 annually to sustain the lamp.  IN the interview, Mijeno, who is currently a member of the engineering faculty of the De La Salle University in Lipa, Batangas, also explained the science behind the SALt lamp.  “Ang basis ay yung science behind galvanic cell, electrochemistry… Pag nag-submerge po kayo ng dalawang dissimilar metals in any form of electrolyte, in thie case saltwater, nagge-generate siya ng electricity,” she said.  Technically, this is a battery po.  Ang ginagawa lang naming ay we tweaked on the process, na binigyan namin ng kakayahan yung tao na i-drain out at i-replenish yung electrolyte para mas mahaba yung buhay.”

Aisa Mijeno suddenly became a household name after she appeared on television seated alongside President Barack H. Obama of the United States and Mr. Jack Ma of Alibaba in an event which was part of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) economic leaders meeting.  We, Filipinos, could not get enough of our kababayan who came up with an out-of-the-box invention.  Congratulations to Aisa Mijeno and her awesome saltwater-powered lamp!

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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ABS-CBN News, (2015). All About Aisa Mijeno and her SALt Lamp.  Retrieved on November 22, 2015 from

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