Urine-powered fuel cells to offer pee power to people

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Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
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Washington, Aug 27 (ANI): This could literally be called pee power to the people-researchers have figured out a way to make the world's first urine-powered fuel cells.
Chemistry postdocs Shanwen Tao and Rong Lan at Heriot-Watt University's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences in Edinburgh are turning pee into electricity and clean water with a prototype fuel cell system. I had heard about pee-power for robots, but not pee-power for everyone.
While fuel cells usually rely on flammable hydrogen gas or toxic methanol to generate electricity, Tao and Lan's cheaper prototype relies instead on urea, an organic chemical compound produced as waste when the body metabolizes protein.
Urea, also called "carbamide," has several advantages as a potential fuel source-it's abundant, non-toxic, relatively straightforward to transport and rich in nitrogen, reports Discovery News.
According to the university, Tao thought about incorporating urea because he had seen it used as a fertilizer while growing up in eastern China.
The Carbamide Power System prototype can break urea or urine from humans or animals down into water, nitrogen and CO2, and also produce electricity at the same time.
Unlike existing fuel cells that require catalysts made from precious metals like platinum, the "Youtricity" research group's prototype uses a cheaper catalyst and less expensive membranes.
A 203,000-dollar grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is helping the team develop the technology, which they think could be ideal for islands, deserts and even on submarines.
Plus, municipalities already spend a ton of money and energy removing urea from wastewater, so incorporating a system like this could help reduce those costs.
The prototype's exact components aren't being publicized, but the team is planning to have a demonstration system ready next year. (ANI)


http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20100827/981/tsc-urine-powered-fuel-cells-to-offer-pe_1.html
 

Ruptga

Lifer
Aug 3, 2006
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I remember hearing something about this kind of thing months ago.

With normal fuels distribution is a hurdle, but with this it seems like concentration will be. Yeah urine is everywhere but even if you get as much energy out of it as you do gasoline that's a LOT of urea that will be required, especially when you consider that >95% of urine is water.
 

nonameo

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Mar 13, 2006
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I remember hearing something about this kind of thing months ago.

With normal fuels distribution is a hurdle, but with this it seems like concentration will be. Yeah urine is everywhere but even if you get as much energy out of it as you do gasoline that's a LOT of urea that will be required, especially when you consider that >95% of urine is water.

cow pee perhaps?
 

Bartman39

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Women...tinkle, Men...pee, Horses...piss, Cows...fill the bucket... :biggrin:


Interesting idea just wonder if it would solve any real energy issues (create enough to power something)...?
 
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iGas

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Feb 7, 2009
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I remember hearing something about this kind of thing months ago.

With normal fuels distribution is a hurdle, but with this it seems like concentration will be. Yeah urine is everywhere but even if you get as much energy out of it as you do gasoline that's a LOT of urea that will be required, especially when you consider that >95% of urine is water.
I think the main goal is to reduce water consumption hence the island, desert , and submarine suggestion. I think it is a great idea if it does work because urinal waste a lot of water.
 

Ruptga

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Hippies lose sleep over "animal cruelty," and to them animals existing in captivity is cruel. Hippies also lose sleep over modern man's raping of the environment. If this turns out to be the best thing since the internal combustion engine they might have to choose between the two since feed lots produce a shitton of urea.

I think the main goal is to reduce water consumption hence the island, desert , and submarine suggestion. I think it is a great idea if it does work because urinal waste a lot of water.

They're sure trying to sell it as a new energy source, but I agree that it will probably (if only) be a good efficiency boosting technology.
 

Perknose

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Hippies lose sleep over "animal cruelty," and to them animals existing in captivity is cruel. Hippies also lose sleep over modern man's raping of the environment.

Yo, Leroy! The sixties called. They're banging on your Glen Beck Bunker right now. They want their terminology back. :rolleyes:
 

Jeff7

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Jan 4, 2001
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Out of fuel in the middle of nowhere? Urine luck!


Yo, Leroy! The sixties called. They're banging on your Glen Beck Bunker right now. They want their terminology back. :rolleyes:
That sounds like Commie talk to me!
:colbert:
 
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