• 11 hours Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Major Crude Draw
  • 12 hours Citgo President And 5 VPs Arrested On Embezzlement Charges
  • 12 hours Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension
  • 13 hours Statoil Looks To Lighter Oil To Boost Profitability
  • 14 hours Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer
  • 15 hours Transneft Warns Urals Oil Quality Reaching Critical Levels
  • 16 hours Whitefish Energy Suspends Work In Puerto Rico
  • 17 hours U.S. Authorities Arrest Two On Major Energy Corruption Scheme
  • 1 day Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 1 day Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 1 day South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 2 days Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 2 days Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 2 days Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 2 days ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 4 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 4 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 4 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 5 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 5 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 5 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 5 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 5 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 5 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 5 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 6 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 6 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 6 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 6 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 6 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 6 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 6 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 7 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 7 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 7 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 7 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 7 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 7 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 8 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 8 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production

University Researchers Use Urine as a Source of Energy

University Researchers Use Urine as a Source of Energy

Move over, alkaline and lithium—the urine-powered battery is on its way, according to British researchers.

A research team led by the University of Bristol in conjunction with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and the University of West England was able to power  a number of electronic devices with urine, including a Samsung phone to send text messages, make brief phone calls, and even browse the web.

According to the study published in Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.  The phone was under urine-power for 24 hours and used approximately 17 ounces of urine.

Engineer Ioannis Ieropoulos, an expert in harnessing power from atypical sources, says that using urine to produce electricity is “about as eco as it gets,” according to a Bristol Robotics Laboratory press release.

The urine is converted through a microbial fuel cell that contains live organisms such as bugs found in soil and in our gut.  These organisms eat the urine, break it down and produce electrodes, which is then used as energy.  “Urine is exceptionally good as a fuel for those microorganisms,” says Ieropoulos in a video published by Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

The hope is that eventually, urine-powered fuel cells—or microbial fuel power stacks (MFCs)—can be used domestically to power small devices such as light fixtures, electric razors, and electric toothbrushes, possibly through smart toilets, which is also on Ieropoulos’ to-do list.

The implications of such a finding is clear: unlike renewable energy sources such as that generated from recycled plastic, which requires a serious commitment and full buy in from the public, the supply of urine would not require sorting bins and recycling tubs—all of which require serious commitment from a large populous. And unlike erratic renewable energy sources such as that from wind farms and solar power, the supply of urine is never-ending.
  
The study is funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with hopes that urine-power will have significant real-world applications.

"The reality is that this technology allows us to turn something that was going completely to waste into something as useful as electricity," Ieropoulos opines.

By. Joao Peixe



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • anupama on July 28 2013 said:
    sounds good - hope it gets enough support at all levels (especially with the policy makers and implementers)-to get firmly established - we are energy guzzlers and the only hope is to find new sources like this ever so often

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News