You Can Now Power Your Phone With Your Pee

By Sam Gibbs on at

It's not like you're going to run out of urine anytime soon, so why not use it for something useful like charging your phone? That's exactly what researchers from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have managed using fancy microbial fuel cells.

Essentially what happens is that bacteria are implanted on the surface of the fuel cell, which love to digest organic compounds like those ejected in your widdle. As they do so the little blighters spit out carbon dioxide, electrons and protons. The electrons are then guided across a membrane from anode to cathode where they combine with protons to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen then combines with oxygen from the air to produce pure H2O. The result is a flow of electrons around a circuit, creating an electrical current we can use for anything; in this case charging up a phone.

Apparently the stacked fuel cells are capable of producing enough electricity to power the phone for texting, browsing and making a short phone call. The boffins behind it are even proposing this kind of tech to convert your bog into a power station to generate what's essentially free electricity, which sounds good to me. Well, as long as I don't have to shove my hand down the crapper to do it, of course. [UWE via Extreme Tech]

Image credit: Toilet phone from Shutterstock