Don’t flush that valuable energy source down the drain! Scientists have announced that they have found a way to charge a smartphone using urine. Researchers from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory passed the urine through a series of microbial fuel cells, which contain tiny microbes that consume and metabolize the liquid into small amounts of energy (which is then transferred into a capacitor for temporary storage), and were able to successfully charge a Samsung smartphone device. The new process generated enough power to send a SMS text, browse the internet, and make a brief call.
“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.”
In addition to charging your portable devices, another potential use could be the installation of microbial fuel cells into public restrooms, which could draw power from urine and deliver electricity to lighting, smartphone chargers, showers, and so forth.