Next Alternative Energy Source: Pee
Scientist develops method to pull hydrogen from urine
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 9, 2011 10:02 AM CST
There's gold in them thar bowls. Liquid smelly gold.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Someday, you may be able to power your home by taking a leak. Ohio University biomolecular engineer Gerardine Botte says she has developed a technology that can pull hydrogen power out of pee, the Guardian reports. Just put an electrode in wastewater, apply a little electricity, and voila—hydrogen atoms will split off from the urea and ammonia in the urine, and can be used to power a fuel cell.

The process is similar to water electrolysis, except that it takes a lot less energy to make urine give up the goods. The main limitation: You need a lot of pee, which means the technology will be best applied in places with lots of bathroom-goers, like stadiums, airports, office buildings, or even animal feedlots. Another prime customer: cities. Botte is the chief technology officer at E3 Technologies, which aims to pitch “pee power” as a way of drastically reducing energy costs at wastewater treatment facilities.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Mar 9, 2011 4:55 PM CST
I dream of a day when I can drive a vehicle that gets sixty miles to a gallon of piss.
Mar 9, 2011 3:30 PM CST
Someday? Someday we'll be weighing whether to use it for power or water
Mar 9, 2011 3:02 PM CST
Is that a piston engine or a pissed in engine??