Next Alternative Energy Source: Pee

Scientist develops method to pull hydrogen from urine
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2011 10:02 AM CST
Scientist: Pee Could Run a Car
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.

story continues below

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. (Read more peeing stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.