Scientists Power Mobile Phone With Fuel Cell, Urine
July 19, 2013 10:25 AM
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R. Kelly's dream phone is here
A group of scientists from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol have teamed up to announce a mobile phone that runs on urine. The technology at the heart of being able to power the phone using urine is called a microbial fuel cell.
UWE Bristol scientist Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos said, "We are very excited as this is a world first, no-one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it's an exciting discovery. Using the ultimate waste product as a source of power to produce electricity is about as eco as it gets."
A microbial fuel cell is a type of energy converter that is able to turn organic matter directly into electricity. This process occurs via the metabolism of live microorganisms in the urine. The electricity is a byproduct of the microbes natural lifecycle and the microbes are able to eat urine.
Currently, the electrical output from a microbial fuel cell is small, and power generated from the fuel cell is typically only able to be stored and accumulated using capacitors or super capacitors.
This latest breakthrough marks the first time the scientists been able to directly charge the battery of a smartphone.
Dr. Ieropoulos added, “So far the microbial fuel power stack that we have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call. Making a call on a mobile phone takes up the most energy but we will get to the place where we can charge a battery for longer periods.”
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It's like a stillsuit for phones
7/19/2013 1:41:35 PM
How long until stillsuits are a reality?
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