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Fuel cells to turn urine into electricity

Researchers pinched the design to see what would produce more power

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Mar 17 2016 3:40PM | Updated Date: Mar 17 2016 3:40PM

Fuel cells to turn urine into electricity

 Researchers have developed a new type of cheaper, smaller and more powerful microbial fuel cell that can turn urine into electricity.

 
New technology, which can revolutionise the way bioenergy is produced, has been developed by a team from University of Bath, Queen Mary University of London and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. 
 
"Microbial fuel cells have real potential to produce renewable bioenergy out of waste matter like urine," said Mirella Di Lorenzo, from University of Bath. 
 
She added that world produces huge volumes of urine and potential power of that waste can be harnessed  using microbial fuel cells, electricity production can be revolutionizsed.
 
New microbial fuel celluses no expensive materials for the cathode, which is made of carbon cloth and titanium wire. 
 
To create more power, it uses a catalyst that's made of glucose and ovalbumin, a protein found in egg white. These are constituents of food waste.
 
Researchers pinched the design to see what would produce more power. Increasing length of electrodes, from 4 mm to 8 mm raised power output tenfold. 
 
By loading up three of the miniature microbial fuel cells, researchers were able to raise power tenfold compared to the output of individual cells.