Urine, though a deplorable waste in the eyes of humans which everyone wants to get rid of, is gaining its usefulness and importance day by day.
For last few centuries, it has been used in the distillation process to produce hydrogen or as a raw material in the making of gun powder, among many other practical purposes.
But according to latest researches by the scientists at university of west England Bristol, the human generated pee has become one of the most valuable thing on the earth just like fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, gasoline).
The mechanism works through Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC), a type of current generating cell, which inhabits living bacteria, also called microbes. These bacteria feed on urine as a source of energy and growth.
Surprisingly, as it may seem to general public, charge carriers are generated in this bio-chemical process by these microorganisms. Charge carriers are the source of electricity if they are allowed to flow through an outer circuit. Hence, these fuel cells can generate useful electric power which could be the great achievement for humanity.
According to one of the university professor “ The pee-power technology is an environment friendly one, as the more it is used ;the lesser we need fossil fuel to generate electricity, potentially reducing the average carbon dioxide gas emission in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the burden on sewage treatment works is also reduced as the large amount of human waste is put into economical uses”.
Scientists think the (MFCS) can be of great use to the people living in refugee camp in war torn countries where there is no infrastructure to facilitate the supply of electric power from national grid.
(MFCS) prototype previously used as a source for a phone battery charger has now been updated as a stack of MFCs and toilets. Toilets have been built imitating the ones in refugee camps. In order to experiment the practicality of the current set-up, Oxfam, a charity organization in the united kingdom and the professors of the university of Bristol have requested the students to donate as much urine samples as possible. Once the process is successful, Oxfam would install it to the areas in dire need of indigenous power generation.