Showing posts with label PROJECT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PROJECT. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Smartphone Battery That Runs On Human Urine

Worldwide there are over 2.5 billion without access to safe sanitation. In attempt to address this need The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are funding researches on the topic: ‘Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies’. As part of the Grand Challenges Exploration Scheme (Round 7) the Intelligent Bio Energy Group were awarded funds to support a project entitled 'Urine-tricity: electricity from urine'

Enter Bristol Robotics Laboratory in Bristol, England. Scientists there have developed technology that converts human urine into electricity that can be used to power a smartphone, as spotted by the Register's Jasper Hamill.
The scientists have demonstrated their wee-powered battery charging a smartphone. They've been awarded a grant from Bill Gates' foundation to develop the tech further.

Project Aim
The main aim of this proposal is to recover useful levels of electrical energy directly from urine, and thus convert an existing – entirely unexploited – waste into a sustainable fuel for the future, with concomitant clean water production.

To achieve this Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) utilize specialized, naturally-abundant microbes housed within the anodic chamber of the fuel cell as the bio-catalyst. The microbes are fed urine directly and as part of their normal metabolic process consumes the urine which generates electrons and when connected to a cathode allow a path for these electrons generating current. In addition the passing of these electrons and protons through an ion-selective membrane, (which separates the anodic and cathodic chambers of the MFC), reacts with air generating clean water.

How it works
That little round thing is called a Microbial Fuel Cell. Inside of it are micro-organisms that take the urine, break it down and output electricity.

Here's another look at the heart of the fuel cell, the part filled with microorganisms.

The full system involves piping the urine through a tube ...

... into a series of fuel cell converters, each of which houses that microbial. In addition to creating electricity, the unit expels a broken down version of the urine, (into those bottles) which make it safer to dispose of, the scientists say.

The full video where the scientist explains the process in detail:
 Source: Urine-tricity: Electricity from Urine