Using a common organic molecule in fertilizer and a standard component of human urine, South Korean scientists were able to achieve perfect renewable energy recently.

As such, Good News Network reported, the said researchers have led a revolution in "pee-powered fuel cells" that produce clean energy, as well as purify wastewater.

Indeed, scientists achieved an innovative performance by using urea fuel cells constructed with low-cost electrodes and do not have precious metals.

Direct urea fuel cells or DUCF could transform any wastewater treatment plant into a renewable power station through the development of the Korea Maritime and Ocean University.

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Science Times - Pee-Powered Renewable Energy Perfected; Scientists Show How Urine Can Help Generate Clean Energy, Purify Wastewater
(Photo: Bristol Bioenergy Centre on Wikimedia Commons)
Checking the connections of Microbial Fuel Cells on EvoBot

Flexible Energy Generators

These flexible energy generators provide unique and innovative ways to equip a town, a parish, or a home with renewable energy that's cutting down on the footprint and the maintenance of other infrastructures.

Employing a nickel and selenium anode and nickel microfoam, Professor Kyu-Jung Chae discovered cost-oriented metal components to function as a catalyst in the DUFC, expediting critical chemical reactions that are enabling it to work, which until to date, now had been developed only with precious metals such as platinum, among others.

A lot of nickel-based compounds were tested, and selenium was discovered to have a synergistic impact. Moreover, when combined with a cathode developed from Prussian Blue, they had outdone precious metals, generating the highest power densities ever found in a DUFC with nickel.

Since urea fuel cells are producing electricity while helping in the treatment well, of urea-ridden wastewater, providing clean water along the process, they are adaptable or multifunctional options in remote areas minus access to a steady power grid, like in rural areas, ships, or even onboard spacecraft.

Human Excrement

As indicated in this report, across the ocean border, a university in Japan is opting to attempt and turn "Number 2" into the "Number 1" source of power for its building.

The development of a toilet, like the one described by Treehugger, composting human excrement and transforms it into the methane biogas for employment in the energy system of school has the students thee, re-assessing waste like never before, as reported by GNN, as the quantity of waste they add to the electric bills is brought back to them in a digital currency form.

On average, the daily excrement of humans can produce approximately 0.5-kilowatt-hours of electricity. Microbes break down the feces of students and faculty alike, and biomethane generated as a byproduct is directed into a solid-oxide fuel cell powering many building functions as the water heater.

Pee Power

According to an IamRenew report, urine and wastewater can be applied as energy because they have organic carbon content, which the bacteria in the microbial fuel cells efficiently use as food for survival.

Essentially, a microbial fuel cell is formed in a pair of half-cells, each with an electrode inside. One of the two is injected with live microbes collected from the natural environment. The microbes grow and retain themselves on the electrode, employing it as an anaerobic respirator.

According to Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, just like any other form of respiration, the microbial fuel cells will be taking in carbon energy and other compounds, and they will be breathing and expelling metabolites.

In that particular half-cell, which is identified as the anode of a microbial fuel cell, the electrode turns out to be the receiver of those electroactive metabolites. The bacteria will then be directly excreting and respiring onto the surface of the electrode.

Related information about electricity from human urine is shown on Marco Sena's YouTube video below:


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