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Boffins power mobile phone using human urine

Coming to a bathroom near you
Wed Jul 17 2013, 10:36
Bottles of beer

BRITISH BOFFINS at the University of Bristol have somehow discovered that mobile phones can be charged using human urine.

The scientists at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have successfully charged an unspecified Samsung mobile phone using the "breakthrough" discovery, which saw the boffins putting human urine through cascade of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), rather than simply weeing on it.

While the electricity output is relatively small using this method, the scientists have genereted enough power for sending texts, browsing the web and making a brief phone call, and they believe the discovery could lead to the technology being installed in bathrooms in the future to power the lights, showers and other electrical devices.

Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos from University of the West of England (UWE) said, "We are very excited as this is a world first, no-one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it's an exciting discovery. Using the ultimate waste product as a source of power to produce electricity is about as eco as it gets.

"One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine. By harnessing this power as urine passes through a cascade of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), we have managed to charge a mobile phone.

"The beauty of this fuel source is that we are not relying on the erratic nature of the wind or the Sun, we are actually re-using waste to create energy," he added.

The scientists are currently bidding for funding to work alongside partners in the US and South Africa to develop a smart toilet, but we can't help but think they are taking the piss. µ


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