Friday, August 9, 2013

Use your urine to charge mobile phone!

Put your phone on the ground and pee on it!

Maybe not literally, but soon you will be able to charge your phone with urine. Not only that, the researchers aim to eventually use the technology to power household electrical appliances, too.

You may not have to waste your urine anymore. Image credit: Discovery news

Alternative power source: Urine powers mobile phone

British scientists said they have harnessed the power of urine and are able to charge a mobile phone with enough electricity to send texts and surf the Internet.

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.

"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."
-Ioannis Ieropoulos, engineer/researcher at University of Bristol

According to them, the cell is currently big - the size of a car battery - but hope to shrink it to become portable soon.

How it works

The team grew bacteria on carbon fiber anodes and placed them inside ceramic cylinders. 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 (battery).

The microbial fuel power stack (MFC) that they have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call.

As long as people continue to pee, raw material for this technology will be available. The task now is to refine the idea to make the invention capable of fully charging a phone battery.

Source: Discovery news

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