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Making energy from urine may be one way of turning human and animal waste into an energy source. Scientist at Bristol Robotics Laboratory created mic...
Making energy from urine may be one way of turning human and animal waste into an energy source. Scientist at Bristol Robotics Laboratory created microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that use bacteria to break down molecules found in urine. The fuel cells run on uric acid, creatinine, and small peptides.
In the lab experiment, the scientists developed a fuel cell that can produce a current of 0.25mA for 3 days from 25ml of urine, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.
However, a scientist at Cornell says even if the process works, it needs to get past the yuck factor. People may not even want to separate their urine, not to mention that it might not even make sense economically.
It's not the first time urine has been used to recycle waste: NASA scientists figured out how to recycle urine into drinking water. That last application though, is a little harder to stomach than simply using urine for energy.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- How NASA is recycling urine into drinking water
- Using a rat's body fluids to power an implanted fuel cell
- A clean water machine powered by the sun
- Poo-Gloos eat sewage
- In Haiti, fighting cholera with a water machine
- At PARC, purifying wastewater without a filter
Nov 3, 2011
Inspirational research into 'cleaner' (although only in a green sense) energy sources are what the world needs! Especially now we've hit 7 billion people. See my latest blog post on perceptions of the threats posed by population growth: http://www2.imperial.ac.uk/blog/studentblogs/christopher-n/2011/12/01/the-human-flood-perceptions-of-the-threats-posed-by-population-growth/
The Romans use to go around and collect urine every day from the citizens as it was an early form of dry cleaning fluid. I recall that the Dutch and others up through the middle ages used urine to clean their sheets as well as other things. Perhaps in a new building design where we use the waterless urinals we could collect that. Still not sure how practical this is.
In order to increase the production of urine and power our civilization everybody needs to drink more beer!
How do these "scientists" propose to collect urine from animals etc. I can see (in theory) how it could be done with humans with a lot of extra in house plumbing, but collecting urine from farm animals and your household pooch? Chase them around with a cup/bucket I'd like to see that!
We're going to need to find ways to look past small problems like disgust. Why not design urinals which collect urine into a central reservoir which can then be used as fuel. Once that type of system is implemented, we won't even have to think about it that much. It would just be like pumping gas at the station, but instead of petrol flowing, it would just be pee. Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green) http://www.GreenJoyment.com