If You Were At This Festival, Your Pee Probably Got Turned Into Electricity
If you're tired of pissing away money on your electric bills, I have some good news for you.
Spanish researchers working at the University of the West of England just figured out a way to put your golden streams to good use by inventing a new device that turns your pee into power.
That's right. These geniuses just developed an innovative sanitization system that uses bacterial metabolism to transform urine into a usable form of electricity.
But that's not all.
These researchers decided to take their new invention for a test spin at last year's Glastonbury music festival in the UK, where it was used by about one thousand people each day.
So if you happened to be one of the many festival goers that took a leak in one of their public toilets, there's a good chance your pee was repurposed into a stream of electricity.
According to one of the researchers, Irene Merino,
The technology in the prototype is based on microbial fuel cells (MFC), which, like batteries, has an anode and a cathode. Our project is aimed at developing countries, with a view to improving or incorporating sanitary facilities. In addition to producing electricity, the system reduces chemical oxygen demand (COD); in other words, it also serves to treat the urine.
Apparently, the pee collected from just one of the festival's urinals created enough electricity to power the LED tube lights located inside the cubicle.
Ioannis Ieropoulos, the Director of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre, stated,
The ultimate purpose is to get electricity to light the toilets and possibly also the outside area, in impoverished regions, which may help improve the safety of women and children, in countries where they have to use communal toilet facilities outside their homes.
If you're looking to learn more about the power of pee, the findings from their research were published this year in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology.
Seriously, who knew we've been flushing away a perfectly good source of energy all this time?
Citations: Public urinal generates electricity from urine (Science Daily), Pee power urinal – microbial fuel cell technology field trials in the context of sanitation (Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology Issue 2, 2016)