The need to find alternative energy sources is crucial for human civilization. Years of exploitation has ripped Earth of its valuable resources vital for existence. We are proud and hopeful of solar energy, hydrogen energy, etc. as dominating coming-of-age power solutions. However, human beings can organically contribute to the system and generate enough energy to charge their phones. How you ask? Urine is the answer.
A technology developed at the University of the West of England (UWE) enables power generation from human urine. It will be showcased at the 5-day music festival to happen in the United Kingdom. Pee Power has been developed by scientists at the Bristol Bioenergy Centre (BBiC) in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at UWE.
Pee Power works via stacks of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC). When live bacteria consumes urine for their growth and maintenance these cells get activated and use urine for direct electricity generation. The MFC technology uses the biochemical energy for the conversion into electricity. The best part of this technology is that any form of organic waste can be utilized for useful energy conversion.
Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, Director of the BBiC, explained that the motive behind this project deals with the larger spectrum as it is,
Our collective effort to improve lives in refugee camps and areas of the world with no sanitation or electricity.
Glastonbury festival, a music festival in the UK, receives a considerable number of attendees every year. Around the peak time, it is expected to get more than 1,000 liters of urine per day which will flow down through the microbial fuel cells. The electricity generated is expected to power displays giving information and updates about the festival, and charge mobile phones.
It is notable that the technology has been used in the festival for the past two years, only this time, the magnitude of its application has increased. The funded project will be taken to Uganda later this year for the very first trial of their Pee Power Urinals.