A Relaxnews story posted by CTV reports that British Researchers from the University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory, in a study published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, say they’ve created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down urine to generate electricity, and were able to charge a mobile phone with enough electricity to send texts and surf the Internet.
Engineer Ioannis Ieropoulos is cited observing: “One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine,” he added. The U. of Bristol 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.
Unfortunately the urine-powered cell is currently the size of a car battery, but now that the concept has been tested and it works, the next step is to develop and refine the process.
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