British researchers have managed to charge their mobile phones with urine.
Scientists at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory were able to build an electrical charge by running the urine though microbial cells, and these then reacted to compounds which included sodium, potassium, and chloride.
After the human waste charged the mobile phone, they were able to make either a brief phone call on a Samsung phone, browse the internet, or send a text message, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry journal.
Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos, an employee at the University of the West of England, stated, “No-one has harnessed power from urine so it’s an exciting discovery. Using the ultimate waste product as a source of power to produce electricity is about as eco as it gets. Making a call on a mobile phone takes up the most energy but we will get to the place where we can charge a battery for longer periods.”
Dr Ieropoulos then continued, “One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine.”
She then explained, “By harnessing this power as urine passes through a cascade of MFCs, we have managed to charge a Samsung mobile phone.”
Dr Ieropoulos revealed that the positives of the fuel include that it doesn’t rely on the wild and unpredictable nature of the wind or the sun, whilst she added, “we are actually re-using waste to create energy.”
The product’s future will now see it developed further and the process will be refined so that it can fully charge a battery and be used in public.
The scientists involved in the project believe that it has the potential to be installed in bathrooms, whilst Dr Ieropoulos added, “We are currently bidding for funding to work alongside partners in the US and South Africa to develop a smart toilet. Watch this space.”
Would you charge your phone with urine?