Urine is more powerful than you think… Researchers at the University of the West of England, Bristol have developed a Microbial Fuel Cell technology for urinals - allowing people to charge smartphones with pure pee power.
So how on Earth does this work? And what the hell are Microbial Fuel Cells? Well, it’s a pretty significant innovation that uses microorganisms to turn organic matter into an electrical current.
The microbes placed onto these cells produce electricity as a by-product, meaning the more urine they’re sprayed with, the more power they create.
Now, long time readers will know that UWE have been working on this for a while. I even wrote about this “Urine-tricity” way back in 2013 (I’m even disappointed in myself for that one).
Back then, the technology was really in its infancy, being able to only provide power to a feature phone, but as explained in their journal Applied Energy, they were able to give a Samsung Galaxy smartphone enough power to make three hours of phone calls with just 600 milliletres of pee – equivalent to one toilet break’s worth.
However, don’t expect to top up the tank completely when you empty yours… Charging a battery to full capacity requires 4.2 litres of urine (that’s 1.1 gallons), so unless you have the bladder of Gods, that’s considerably more than a single person could ever generate!
“We are excited to announce several global firsts - this development was possible by employing a new design of MFCs that allowed scaling-up without power density losses,” Professor Leropoulos, leader of the team explains.
“Although it was demonstrated in the past that a basic mobile phone could be charged by MFCs, the present study goes beyond this to show how, simply using urine, an MFC system successfully charges a modern-day smartphone.”
This paints a rather exciting future in sustainable charging – it’s a fuel source you will literally never run out of, and it’s extremely safe to use…as far as we know.
I’ll just say to the unlucky person (if there is one) that “urine” for a shocking surprise… I’ll grab my coat.
Watching one YouTuber react to Jake Paul and his dad taking part in kissing competition by kissing the same 18-year-old girl made me realise one thing – YouTube is fucked beyond repair.
Radio listeners are dropping off a cliff, and it’s obvious the world is turning to podcasting for their audio-based entertainment – the democratising platform that is slowly (but surely) being led by Anchor.
Self-driving cars are the future, but are humans ready for them? The answer is a resounding “no,” and you shouldn’t expect to see them for a long time…
I - a self-confessed futurist and technology obsessive - am going to tell you to turn off the very device on which you’re reading this and say “no” to living a completely digital life. Trust me, your mental faculties will thank you for it.
Looking for a new laptop, but don't have a lot of money? Here are five options that are both amazing and UNDER £250.
Recent Pokémon GO developments have inspired me to try the app again… Turns out it’s still as broken as I remember it.
I love Lego and DC super heroes made my childhood. Naturally, my interest was peaked by 'The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes' art exhibit in London. Here's what I thought of it, along with an exclusive interview with the mind behind this amazing work - Lego artist Nathan Sawaya.
Kickstarter is both a blessing and a curse – for every amazing innovation we get, we get a few stupidly pointless gadgets just like these five pieces of tat.
Google’s DeepMind AI has taken a break from painting masterpieces and besting board game champions to learn a spot of Parkour – using reinforcement learning in encouraging the AI to successfully navigate a course of jumps and crawls.
Astronomy photography is difficult enough, but imagine doing so using a Nintendo Game Boy Camera! Well, this guy has managed to do so and the results are better than you imagine…
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.