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

July 16, 2013
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

Tags: Active, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, mobile phones

Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – technology images can be found here

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

Which smartphone do you have?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

What’s next for the smartphone?

Nokia X Android smartphone range

It should be no surprise to anyone that many smartphones may have been designed to last about 24 months

Online anonymity: a prized possession

Privacy

Internet use has come full circle, with anonymity becoming prized after years of personal info being shared online, writes Alistair Fairweather

Blocking Islamic State’s online propaganda – good or bad?

Information security privacy password hacking crypto

Before considering whether blocking content damages democracy – it would – instead ask who stands to gain

SABC COO to appeal court-ordered suspension

Hlaudi Motsoeneng

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is appealing the Western Cape High Court order on his suspension, the public broadcaster reported on Friday

Free MyBroadband Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)