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Turning pee into power!

An unexpected energy source, urine could be used to generate enough electricity to ‘slowly’ recharge your smartphone, as well as power smart displays or lights in portable toilets.

Scientists at Bristol Robotics Lab made this discovery by filling a collection of cylinders with electro-active micro-organisms to which they then added waste water and urine. The resulting chemical reaction created electrons as a by-product, which could then be turned into electricity.

From two litres of urine, the scientists could generate 30 to 40mw of power – not bad for ‘waste’!

The system is to be installed at Glastonbury festival later this month. More than 1000 litres of urine per day are expected to flow through the microbial fuel cells generating enough power to charge ten information panels.

So if you’re going and already huffing and puffing at the idea of waiting in those interminably long bathroom queues, remember – your pee is power.

Peggy Lee

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