With planet Earth facing a barrage of environmental threats — namely, fossil fuel depletion, pollution and climate change — clean, renewable energy is critically important.
And while emerging energy sources like solar, wind and hydroelectricity seem promising, they may soon be joined by the unlikeliest of renewable resources: urine.
In a new paper, a team of researchers at England’s University of Bath announced they developed a low-cost, pee-powered fuel cell capable of running electronic devices, including cell phones.
Dr. Mirella Di Lorenzo, a lecturer in the university’s department of chemical engineering and an author of the study, said the ability to harness the power of human waste could revolutionize electricity generation.
“Microbial fuel cells can play an important role in addressing the triple challenge of finding solutions that support secure, affordable and environmentally sensitive energy, known as the ‘energy trilemma,’” Di Lorenzo said in a statement. “There is no single solution to this ‘energy trilemma’ apart from taking full advantage of available indigenous resources, which include urine.”
UNIVERSITY OF BATH
Dr. Mirella Di Lorenzo, a lecturer in the University of Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering, holds a pee-powered fuel cell.
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