For discretion, you may want
to recharge behind a tree
A mobile phone is ready for “recharging.” Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.
DONT YOU JUST HATE IT when the battery in you phone dies and you are miles from the nearest electric outlet?
Worry no more.
The solution – if one can call it that – is, ahem, close at hand!
A group of six scientists has just announced successful development of a phone battery powered by urine! Just pee for power!
In their paper, just published in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, they report:
“[We demonstrate] for the first time the charging of a commercially available mobile phone, using Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) fed with real neat urine.”
The abstract for the report, Waste to Real Energy: the first MFC powered mobile phone continues: “The membrane-less MFCs were made out of ceramic material and employed plain carbon based electrodes.”
A diagram of how the system works. Click image to enlarge.
The authors of the study are Ioannis A. Ieropoulos, Pablo Ledezma, Andrew Stinchcombe, George Papaharalabos, Chris Melhuish and John Greenman:
“This is the world’s first demonstration that mobile phone batteries can be directly charged – previously considered impossible – by a stack of MFCs feeding on urine.”
Not only is your pee a power source, it is also one of the best ones, the researchers say.
“Compared to other commonplace organic feedstocks, urine is shown to be a superior fuel for direct electricity generation,” they report. “This now opens up numerous possibilities for waste utilization in remote locations and accessible levels of useful energy.”
I first heard about this revolutionary development on the hilarious NPR show aired Saturdays called “Wait, wait, don’t tell me.” It is a giggle every 10 seconds.
A summary of the report and the diagram can be found at the web site of the Royal Society for Chemistry
which reported it on July 19.
In Mobile phone powered by urine it says: “The first mobile phone that can be directly charged by microbial fuels cells feed on neat urine has been reported by scientists in the UK.”
“Back in 2011 we covered the urine powered fuel cells being developed by Ioannis Ieropoulos and colleagues at Bristol Robotics Laboratory
“They had shown that urine was an excellent fuel for direct electricity generation. As a bonus, the cells can reclaim essential nutrients from the urine, making wastewater treatment easier.”
This latest study is the first time a commercially available mobile phone has been powered by urine-powered fuel cells. Cascades of electrically connected fuel cells use bacterial action to convert chemical energy in organic matter in urine into electricity.
The research team hopes its work will lead to emergency charging devices for remote locations.
Wow! Talk about having to go to the bathroom in a hurry! You may just be able to charge your phone while hiking in the woods – just take plenty of beer!
To read the actual research paper click this link
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