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Daox 01-21-13 09:33 PM

Urine powered generator
This is a bit unusual, but pretty cool none the less. I can't really think of a better use for my urine off hand...

Four African Teenage Girls Create a Pee-Powered Generator | Living on GOOD


During the Maker Faire Africa, in Lagos, Nigeria on November 5 and 6, 14-year-olds Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola presented their unique proposal. According to The Next Web, here's how it works:

-Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which cracks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen.
-The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
-The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
-This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.
-1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity.

Ryland 01-22-13 10:46 AM is the document on splitting urine.

They are showing the cost of hydrogen made this way as costing a little more then half of that made from splitting water in a fuel cell, the tough part of course is that the energy required to produce the hydrogen is still there, I'll have to look for my figures from a while back but I remember if you produced hydrogen from $.12 kwh electricity that energy wise it would be like paying $37 per gallon for gasoline, lets say this cuts it in half in an ideal world, that is still expensive energy, splitting urine is not free.

Daox 01-22-13 10:54 AM

Haha, I knew there had to be some hitch to it. I was figuring that it was cost since they don't talk about it in any of the articles I could find!

Ryland 01-22-13 11:36 AM

So it still falls short of being able to power it's self, of course the fuel cell that runs off urine should be cheaper to build then one that works well that splits water, but it still requires a huge energy input for a small energy output and the system does not produce enough energy to run it's self.

roflwaffle 01-26-13 02:04 AM

I don't think this is an energy generator so much as an energy storage device. A small town can have a wind turbine/solar panel setup, and something like this would allow for a bit of electricity at night, at higher efficiency than doing the same thing with water. It's less efficient than a battery, but it's also cheaper and would probably last longer.

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