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. (Read more peeing stories.)