Scientists create fuel cell running on urine

By Nithya Palaniyappan | Published on Apr 21 2016
Scientists create fuel cell running on urine
HIGHLIGHTS

Seems like we release renewable energy when nature calls.

A quick look at some key features of Philips’ air purifiers

This handy little gadget has become a necessity, especially in metropolitan cities where pollution levels tend to be quite high

Click here to know more

A team of researchers at the University of Bath, England, have developed a low-cost, urine-powered fuel cell that can run electronic devices, including cell phones. According to Electrochemica Acta, the official journal of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), this device is approximately the size of a US quarter coin, and costs between $1.50 and $3 to make. It uses the natural, biological process of ‘electric’ bacteria to convert organic matter to electricity. Urine passes through the cell, reacts with these bacteria, and generates electricity that can be stored, or used to power an electronic device. A single cell produces 2 Watt/cubic metre of electricity. While the output is not comparable to other conventional green alternative such as solar, these fuel cells have positives such as low manufacturing cost and small size. Additionally, these cells can be stacked to increase potential.

Dr. Mirella Di Lorenzo, lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, said that the ability to harness human waste could revolutionise electricity generation. “Microbial fuel cells can play an important role in addressing the triple challenge of finding solutions that support secure, affordable and environmentally sensitive energy, known as the energy trilemma”, Dr. Lorenzo said. “There is no single solution to this ‘energy trilemma’ apart from taking advantage of available indigenous resources, which include urine."

Using urine as a fuel is not entirely a new concept. According to The Guardian, in 2011, Gerardine Botte of Ohio University created a way to produce hydrogen fuel from urine. Transcending to green fuels from the fast-depleting and environmentally hazardous fossil fuels is the need of the hour, and innovations like these streamline the way to clean, renewable energy.

Videos

iPhone XS Max vs Coffee, Juice, Cola & Water | How Good is its IP68 Rating? | Dunk Test | Digit.in
logo
Nithya Palaniyappan

Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of Thinkdigit.com as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.

We are about leadership-the 9.9 kind! Building a leading media company out of India.And,grooming new leaders for this promising industry.