Scientists Claim To Power Phone With Urine


The power of urine has been harnessed to charge a mobile phone with enough electricity to send texts and surf the Internet.

Researchers from England’s University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory said Tuesday they had created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down urine to generate electricity.

“No one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it’s an exciting discovery,” Ioannis Ieropoulos told the U.S.-based trade publication Industry Week. “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 reusing waste to create energy.”

The technology relies on passing urine through fuel cells made of microbes. As they feed off the urine, they produce electricity.

“So far the microbial fuel power stack (MFC) that we have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call,” Ieropoulos said. “The concept has been tested and it works — it’s now for us to develop and refine the process so that we can develop MFCs to fully charge a battery.”