Q:

What were some of the most celebrated scientific inventions of 2014?

A:

Many of the most promising and celebrated inventions of 2014 were those intended to solve humanitarian or energy concerns, such as the GravityLight and Soccket. Both are capable of providing light and charging electrical items without the use of inefficient fuels, such as kerosene. The GravityLight generates energy with weights, pulleys and gears, whereas the Soccket stores the kinetic energy from being used as a football.

Another eco-friendly invention that sought to tackle the issue of global warming and fossil fuel consumption was the Dearman Engine. Invented by Peter Dearman of the United Kingdom, this engine is fueled by extremely cold liquid air, with an approximate temperature of minus 200 degrees Celsius.

Addressing the problems associated with cooking in the developing world, the Infinity Bakery is a solar-powered cooker made from recycled and natural materials. It minimizes the use of expensive and toxic fuels, and can be constructed with little effort.

Water purity has been another problem in the developing world, and the Portapure was invented to clean polluted drinking water with minimal cost and energy. On a single filter, it can process and clean between 3,000 and 5,000 gallons of dirty water.

Other 2014 inventions aimed at more of a first-world target market include hand sanitizers that can be monitored via the internet to ensure their usage in hospitals, a portable spectrometer for scanning the nutritional content of food and a shower that recycles its own wastewater.

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