Taking self-sustainability and niche methods of charging your gadgets to a whole new level, the team of researchers at Bristol Robotics laboratory and UWE headed by Dr Loannis Leropoulos have created world’s first microbial fuel cells (MFC) urine powered cell phone. This innovative technology being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Gates Foundation and Technology Strategy Board makes possible charging of mobile phone with your urine which is the ultimate waste product. Microbial fuel cells work on the concept of converting organic matter into electric power by making use of the metabolism of live micro-organisms. Currently the prototype version that researchers have managed to create can produce electric energy which is enough to send text messages, browse web and make short emergency calls.
The MFC unit created by the researchers has carbon fiber anodes inserted inside ceramic cylinders and when urine is passed through it, the bacteria inside break down the sugar and other chemicals to produce electrons thereby producing electricity. They managed to charge a Samsung mobile phone using this fuel cell and according to them it cost only £1 to make a functional fuel cell which is good news as it is going to be one cheap method of charging up your gadgets anywhere, anytime. Researchers are planning on making smart toilets too which will be capable of harnessing urine to produce electricity to power shower and lighting units.
According to Leropoulos, in the future they will be able to make MFC that will be capable of fully charging your gadgets and smartphones. However currently the urine powered version of the fuel cells is too big to carry around, but in the future making an extensive call out in the woods when the batteries run out will be a sure shot possibility. After all your urine will bail you out of any precarious situation.
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