Researchers from the University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory in south west England said they had created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down urine to generate electricity, in a study published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
“No one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it’s an exciting discovery,” said engineer Ioannis Ieropoulos.
“The beauty of this fuel source is that we are not relying on the erratic nature of the wind or the sun; we are actually reusing waste to create energy.
“One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine,” he added.
The bacteria broke down chemicals in urine passed through the cylinders, building up a small amount of electrical charge which was stored on a capacitor.
Ieropoulos hoped that the cell, which is currently the size of a car battery, could be developed for many applications.
“Our aim is to have something that can be carried around easily,” he explained.
“The concept has been tested and it works – it’s now for us to develop and refine the process so that we can develop MFCs to fully charge a battery.”
They hope the technology will eventually be used to power domestic devices.
- Mobile phone powered by urine (stuff.co.nz)
- Call of nature: mobile phone charged using urine (telegraph.co.uk)
- British scientists use urine to charge cell phone (rawstory.com)
- Piss Generates Energy for Cellphone (planet.infowars.com)
- ‘Urine could charge mobile phones’ (independent.ie)
- Now You Can Charge Your Mobile Phone With Urine (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
- British scientists discover a way to power mobile phones with urine (mirror.co.uk)