Scientists have successfully harnessed the power of an unexpected energy source: human urine.
Researchers at the University of West of England have successfully made a phone call, sent text messages, and browsed the internet using a Samsung device powered by urine.
Senior research fellow, Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos, points out that human waste is an alternative resource that is more reliable due to the fact that “we are not relying on the erratic nature of the wind or the sun.” Technology used to harness the power of waste could be used on a wide range of scales from powering a small mobile device to implementations built into waste water treatment plants.
While it seems unlikely that we will be using urine to charge our mobile phone batteries around town, this technology could be used in remote settings where urine is more readily available than a power grid or even sunlight. Where there are people, there are power sources.
The most reasonable applications are likely to be on a larger scale. Deployment of larger scale applications integrated with waste water treatment could potentially provide a significant amount of energy using a resource that otherwise–literally–goes down the drain.
University of Ohio researchers say the amount of urine produced by all of the students could power 60 buildings on campus. Although there will be logistical challenges that need to be overcome, that is clearly not insignificant.
Source: Medical Daily