Researcers At UWE Bristol Used Urine To Charge Mobile Phones Using Microbial Fuel Cells

Charge mobile phones using urine

7:54 AM, 25th July 2013
Electricity From Urine
Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos, Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

BRISTOL, UK: Scientists have developed a novel way of charging mobile phones using urine as the power source to generate electricity. Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos from UWE Bristol is an expert at harnessing power from unusual sources using microbial fuel cells. “We are very excited as this is world’s 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,” said Ieropoulos.

“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 Samsung 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.

“So far the microbial fuel power stack that we have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call. Making a call on a mobile phone takes up the most energy but we will get to the place where we can charge a battery for longer periods. 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,” added Ieropoulos.

The microbial fuel cell converts organic matter directly into electricity using microorganisms. Essentially, the electricity is a by-product of the microbes’ natural life cycle, so the more they eat things like urine, the more energy they generate and for longer periods of time; so it’s beneficial to keep doing it. The electricity output from MFCs is relatively small and so far we have only been able to store and accumulate these low levels of energy into capacitors or super-capacitors, for short charge/discharge cycles. This is the first time we have been able to directly charge the battery of a device such as a mobile phone and it is indeed a breakthrough.

The scientists believe that the technology has the future potential to be installed into domestic bathrooms to harness the urine and produce sufficient electricity to power showers, lighting or razors as well as mobile phones.

© Bristol Robotics Laboratory News



Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News

Synthesis Energy expands methanol JV in China

HOUSTON, US: Synthesis Energy Systems Inc, the US based energy and gasification technology company, has entered into a definitive agreement with Xuech ...

Read more
FMC acquires Omega-3 manufacturers in Norway, UK

PHILADELPHIA, US: FMC Corporation has acquired all of the shares of Epax Nutra Holding III AS, Norway and Epax UK Holding III AS, UK, manufacturers of ...

Read more
Sasol, Ineos to manufacture high density polyethylene

HOUSTON, US: Sasol, South African-based energy and chemical company, and Ineos Olefins & Polymers have signed of a memorandum of understanding (MO ...

Read more
PhosAgro to elect new CEO

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: PhosAgro, a leading global vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producer, will vote for the appointment of a new CEO on 31 ...

Read more
ADM gets Japan’s approval for acquisition of GrainCorp

DECATUR, US: The Japan Fair Trade Commission has given its approval to Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) for ADM’s proposed acquisition of Gr ...

Read more
Jordan Phosphate forms phosphoric acid JV with Indonesian firms

AMMAN, JORDAN: The Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC) has signed memoranda of understanding with two Indonesian companies, for the establishment of ...

Read more