Sep
02
2005


Urine Power: A credit card-size battery powered by urine. Photograph courtesy Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

This is another story where I can only imagine what the lab that does this research is like...

Scientists in Singapore have reported that they have invented a small, credit card sized battery that is activated using urine.

The government funded Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology developed the battery for use in medical diagnostic test kits. These test kits are often used to study the chemical composition of a person's urine to detect an illness. Researchers studying ways to make a small, efficient and inexpensive battery to power these test kits realized that the substance being tested - urine - could also be used to provide power for the test kit.

To make the battery, pieces of paper are soaked in a solution of copper chloride and then sandwiched between strips of magnesium and copper. This "sandwich" is then laminated between two sheets of plastic. When a drop of urine is added to the paper through a slit in the plastic, a chemical reaction takes place that produces about 1.5 volts of electricity - about the same as a AA battery - for about 90 minutes.

The research team who developed the battery describes their work in the current issue of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

Given the high cost of energy lately, a cheap and plentiful energy source would be welcome. If these batteries could be successfully scaled up they could be used for larger applications, such as laptops, mp3 players or even cars.

Fueling up the car may never be the same.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

gross

posted on Sat, 09/03/2005 - 2:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how do you do it?\r\n\r\nHave any been proven to work? \r\n\r\nWe know there is lots andlots of pee in the world.\r\n\r\n

posted on Sun, 09/04/2005 - 3:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

...and exactly how do you get the 'P' for power in the itsy bitsy bag?

posted on Thu, 09/15/2005 - 9:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

All that's needed is a drop, according to the article, so that shouldn't be too hard.

posted on Tue, 09/20/2005 - 8:38am
Mirk's picture
Mirk says:

Too bad energy conglomerates would never allow this device to be scaled up in order to provide power to your home by simply urinating into a receptacle next to your toilet. If on drop of urine can create 1.5volts for 90 minutes, imagine what a litre (What an average person relieves themselves of. The more water you drink, the more you save on your energy bill.. genius. But much like the inventor of the everlasting light bulb (He was mysteriously driven off the road and ran over a dozen times), I believe this idea will end up dying for the sake of preserving corporate profits. BTW thx to Hurricane Katrina, Oil companies have raked in record profits... good for them. Taking advantage of national disasters to make an extra buck or two is wonderful. >:(

posted on Wed, 11/16/2005 - 12:19am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

How would energy companies prevent this? They can't stop an entrepreneur from trying it. They can't stop an investor from giving that person money. They can't stop consumers from buying the finished product. All they can do is provide the same product or service at a lower cost, or in a more convenient form, or something. The market -- and the millions of individual decisions that make up the market -- do the rest.

Secondly, I don't think the oil companies benefitted from Katrina so much as they benefitted from the law of supply and demand. Supply went down; demand stayed constant; so price went up. If consumers are more willing to pay $3.00 / gallon than they are to find alternative means of transportation, I don't think the oil companies are to blame.

Meanwhile, gas here is flirting with $2.00 a gallon. Just a few weeks ago, the automotive message boards were full of angry people, demanding that the government take money away from the oil companies because of their sudden, windfall profits. How many of those people today are demanding that the government GIVE money to the oil companies because of their sudden LOSSES? Not too many. ;-)

posted on Wed, 11/16/2005 - 10:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The price of oil is up to about $135 per barrel - but no increase of land oil rigs in the mainland U.S. where environmental barriers are not at issue. You fail to realize that oil company mergers embedded with Middle Eastern potentates creates a market where free market economics do not apply and in which a tax on obscene profits to help fund alternative engery sources like wind, hydro, solar thermal (water pipes heated by the sun to produce steam to drive a turrbine - the Gobi Desert could produce many times the present BTUs of oil and gas production) could be addressed and we could stop being slaves to oil and gas and automotive companies and utility and insurance companies that drain most of the average American household's income - there are plenty of other worthwhile endeavers that will employ people in the world).

posted on Sun, 06/15/2008 - 10:51am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Environmental barriers have stopped the drilling in ANWR which, last I checked, was on the mainland. And they have stopped the importation of oil recovered from the Canadian sand tars.

The biggest reason for no new land oil rigs is simply the lack of strikes, though the newly-discovered Bakken field may change that. (As I understand it, the Bakken has only recently become exploitable thanks to new developments in drilling technology, and the higher cost of oil making what had been marginal finds profitable.)

The OPEC cartel does indeed restrict the freedom of the oil market. However, when demand goes up and supply remains the same, a free market would predict prices should skyrocket, exactly as they have.

Interesting theory about solar thermal. Tell me, how, exactly, are you planning to get water to the Gobi, which is not only a desert, but is pretty close to the middle of the largest continent on Earth. No spot in the world is further from water. And once you create energy there, how do you propose to get it out?

posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 11:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

In Las Vegas they have PLENTY of water. It's called money

posted on Sat, 06/21/2008 - 8:40pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

No, it's called the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead. Mongolia has none of these things; it doesn't have the money to build the solar thermal infrastructure; and we still need to solve the problem of getting the energy out of one of the remotest spots on Earth. Not to mention the environmental problems caused by dams.

posted on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 3:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is naughty ."boy youve let your face grow long"

posted on Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is really nasty. we shouldn't be able to hear this kind of stuff.

posted on Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

An interesting interpretation of the First Amendment... ;-)

posted on Mon, 11/12/2007 - 10:56am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think it is useful;you pee and you get energy!

posted on Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:24pm
paul's picture
paul says:

acording to the article it is good to do that, but they dont acctually tell you the bad part of it , cose youd finally need more, wich is not a problem, but you cant hide it, it wouldnt be safe.

posted on Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:26pm
elisha's picture
elisha says:

ew they made a battery that runs on urine. oh, i'm boy to let you know

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 6:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

weird but cool.

So instead of MP3 players we could have M PP players.
They should sell this at Spencers Gifts

posted on Tue, 05/29/2007 - 1:16pm
Diana's picture
Diana says:

that awsonme

posted on Mon, 11/12/2007 - 10:35am
dyakki's picture
dyakki says:

as a yOung researcher,in fact, an apprentice 14 yrs of age, i'm curiOus about everything. and i've cOme up with a research prOposal entitled "urine battery-fuel". As the title suggests, this investigatiOn focuses on the feasibility of urine to be an efficient energy sOurce.. basing on my readings, at a certain percentage, ths study wil work out..

i juz would like to ask whether u think this can be possible or nOt..and wiht ur kind heart,,may u givve me sOme info abOut urine that wOuld help me succeed in my findings and experiments.. thank yOu!!

posted on Wed, 01/30/2008 - 5:34am
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I suggest you follow the links in the main article for more reading, and follow their links for further reading. I am not an expert myself, but the links will send you to some useful information. Good luck!

posted on Mon, 02/04/2008 - 9:41pm
dyakki's picture
dyakki says:

joe, thnx for ur suggestion.. :)

wel, i am done actually with the defense of this proj proposal and fortunately, i have answered ol the jury's queries.. GOd is so gOod.. :)

but, this is just the cOmmencement of a greater wOrk.. now,i have to experiment.. and err, i have to spend a lot of money here..hmmmff.. LOL..

:)

posted on Sun, 04/13/2008 - 9:40am
Samuel Walsh's picture
Samuel Walsh says:

Yes "Fueling up the car may never be the same." but I am doubtful that these batteries could be successfully scaled up the level, that it would be able to run a car.

posted on Tue, 01/05/2010 - 12:02am

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