Written by: Admin
Most of us think that urine is a total waste where you just pee and flush the toilet. However, that is not the case. Urine has many ions or electrically charged atoms (I know it sounds scary) that can produce electricity through appropriate chemical reactions.
Scientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore saw the use of these ions in the urine. They created the credit card-size biodegradable battery that is powered by urine. The goal was to meet the demand of creating cheap, disposable, and renewable power source for medical test kits.
So, you are probably curious how this battery was created. Ki Bang Lee who was in charge of the project explained that they sandwiched a piece of paper between strips of magnesium and copper after soaking the paper in a solution of copper chloride. They laminated the sandwich between two sheets of transparent plastic. A drop of urine is then added through a slit of plastic, creating a chemical reaction which generated electricity.
The prototype battery generated 1.5 volt power equivalent to a standard AA battery and ran for about 90 minutes. Scientists were optimistic that making some adjustments, the power, voltage and lifetime can be greatly improved.
The technology has been since adapted and improved. A Japanese company introduced urine powered battery called NoPoPo (Non-Pollution Power) Aqua batteries into the market. Simply, inject urine into the battery chamber using the included plastic pipette. This battery can also use other liquids such as beer, tears, apple juice, cola, and saliva.
Although the initial goal was to use these disposable batteries in medical tests, they can be also used in other low power consumption electric devices. In near future, you may see your laptops, MP3 players, and cell phones are powered by urine. So, next time when you flush the toilet, appreciate the value of your pee.