London: Scientists in United Kingdom have claimed to have developed an out of the box method to charge mobile phones by human urine. Yes, you read it right! Scientists working at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have discovered the ‘ground-breaking’ technology of charging cell phones by using urine as the source of power, to generate electricity.
"We are very excited as this is the 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," Ioannis Ieropoulos from University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, an expert in harnessing power from unusual sources using microbial fuel cells, said.
"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 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," said Ieropoulos.
He said that so far the microbial fuel power stack that scientists 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," he said.
The Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) is an energy converter, which turns organic matter directly into electricity, via the metabolism of live microorganisms, researchers said. 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.
The study was reported in the Royal Society of, 'Chemistry Journal of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.'


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