Pee-Power could be the newest way to go green, according to the University of the West of England. A new urinal on campus can supposedly generate electricity with the power of urine.
According to the Guardian, students and staff at the University of the West of England are being asked to use the pee-power prototype urinal to feed microbial fuel cell stacks that reportedly generate electricity to power indoor lighting.
“This technology is about as green as it gets, as we do not need to utilize fossil fuels and we are effectively using a waste product that will be in plentiful supply,” said Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, director of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre.
According to Mashable, the electricity generated by this urinal is only used to power a light in the toilet, and while that doesn’t sound all that exciting, the university and its partner, OxFam, are hoping to use the technology to help important causes, such as refugee camps in disaster areas.
So how exactly does this pee-powered urinal work? According to Mirror, Professor Ieropoulos explains that the microbes “feed on urine for their own growth and maintenance.”
“The microbial fuel cells work by employing live microbes which feed on urine for their own growth and maintenance. The microbial fuel cell is in effect a system which taps a portion of that biochemical energy used for microbial growth, and converts that directly into electricity – what we are calling urine-tricity or pee power.”
According to Mashable, if this trial at the University of the West of England is successful, the pee-powered urinal “could be a game changer.” If successful, OxFam and other agencies that provide relief to disaster-stricken areas could use the technology in not only refugee camps in disaster areas, but also in the developing world, where electricity isn’t available.
So what does social media have to say about the idea of pee power to generate electricity?
— Dr. Marsha Jones (@dr_majones) March 5, 2015
Humans are sometimes such a clever bunch… University installs prototype ‘pee power’ toilet http://t.co/lBMG0H2bJz
— Gemma Morgan (@GemmaSMorgan) March 5, 2015
— Mark Varney (@Mark_Varney) March 5, 2015
Could this pee-powered urinal be the next big “Go Green” initiative? Tell us what you think of the pee-power idea in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock/antpkr]