Scientists have learned how to produce electricity for charging smartphones from urine




Currently on the market of batteries and chargers , there a lot of interesting developments , but at the latest by surprise many. Since then, when scientists started talking about a fuel cell that generates electricity from urine a few years, but now British researchers from the laboratory of Bristol Robotics at Bristol University announced the creation of such.

Developed by Ioannis Ieropulosom and his friends technology is called cascading microbial fuel cell (MFC). As you can already guess from the title, MFC contains microbes that feed on organic matter and produce through processing electricity. Scientists say they have created the world’s first fuel cell that runs on urine, the strength to generate enough electricity to run the Internet, writing text messages and even make calls.

Judging from the presented data, in MFC uses the active sludge, which is mainly used for wastewater treatment. In order to stimulate growth and energy-promoting bacteria (Geobacter sulfurreducens) scientists used tryptone and yeast.

The cells of the MFC, as expected, there is an anode, a cathode, and a membrane in the middle, which allows only the protons. In the anode compartment bacteria digested biofuels (organic compounds in urine, such as proteins and hormones), producing carbon monoxide, electrons and protons. The next step is the movement of electrons to the cathode via electrical circuits, where they combine with the protons to form hydrogen. Further there is a combination of oxygen with hydrogen in the result of reaction with water and electricity.

Unfortunately, the amount of generated electricity produced in this manner are not very large – of the order of a few microwatts, so the researchers decided to combine into a single system of eight cells. The best result was achieved when scientists first four cells connected in parallel (for maximum power) and four others – in series (to ensure maximum voltage). As a result, they obtained at the output 642 millivolts, 312 microamperes and 206 microwatts. According to scientists, this is enough to charge a smartphone produced by Samsung (model, unfortunately, did not specify).

It should be noted that the cell size is very small, so they are created unused 3D-printer, but the whole installation, which consists of the cells and other essential components in size comparable to a vehicle battery.

The next step for Ioannis Ieropulosa is the design and creation of a “smart” toilets with interface USB 2.0, where it will be possible to charge any mobile device. The ultimate goal – the creation of a portable charger for smartphones. Unfortunately, to increase the efficiency of such a charge is possible only by increasing the level of protein in the urine, but it will lead to malfunction of the kidneys.
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Tags: Batteries , Chargers , Smartphones .


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