Charge a mobile phone using urine

British scientists on Tuesday reported they had harnessed the power of urine and were able to charge a mobile phone

By - July 16, 2013 Share on LinkedIn
Mobile phones

British scientists on Tuesday reported they had harnessed the power of urine and were 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.

“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 team grew bacteria on carbon fibre 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.

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.

“So far the microbial fuel power stack (MFC) that we have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call.

“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.

More gadget news

Apple CEO hints at wearable devices, promises innovation

Sony SmartWatch 2 announced

Pebble smartwatch banks over R80 million on Kickstarter

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Do you regularly use Uber?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Verashni Pillay named as editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post SA

The Huffington Post

Media24 announced that Verashni Pillay, currently editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, has been appointed editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post SA.

How the WITS student voting will work

WITS

WITS University will run a poll to gauge the thoughts of staff and students on the resumption of the academic programme on Monday.

ANC not protecting Hlaudi Motsoeneng – Mthembu

ANC

Hlaudi Motsoeneng does not enjoy the protection of the ANC, nor has the party deployed him to the public broadcaster, chief whip Jackson Mthembu said

The best ADSL ISP in South Africa

South Africa ISPs

The latest MyBroadband survey results reveal which Internet Service Provider ranked top in South Africa based on consumer feedback.

Free MyBroadband Newsletter
×