WHAT COULD BE GREENER? 8-4-2014
A recent article (The Economist, August 2nd, 2014) says that The BioEnergy Team in Bristol, England, is hoping to turn urine into electrical power or URINETRICITY. The 6.4 trillion liters of urine produced by humans every year is apparently an abundant resource (to say nothing of the animals also producing some of this resource).
Urine contains microbial fuel cells (MFCS) which are alive with microbes. Urine passing through these it produces free electrons. WHO KNEW? Connecting these through an external circuit generates a current. Apparently the charge is so high it can recharge a cell phone. This renewable energy source is being backed by numerous organizations for study, including the Gates Foundation. This research group is now looking into whether feces can also provide an energy source.
According to this article there are 2.5 billion people in the world without access to proper sanitation. So perhaps this will finally be incentive enough for governments to provide this essential necessity. This could also lead to the most interesting laws. Could you be arrested for peeing on the side of the road or in the woods instead of properly disposing of your valuable resource? Would that be a bit like littering? Perhaps we could have stations on every street corner or signs everywhere directing people to the nearest station. You could have a gizmo that wrings-out your baby’s nappies, or a contraption for your cats and dogs to wear. The possibilities seem endless!