Pee-powered Toilets

Soon public toilets in Udaipur would be lit up using `urine-tricity', electricity produced by urine.
The bio-energy research team from the University of West England, Bristol and Wells for India, a UK-based NGO, are planning to set up the first `pee-power' generation plant and first functional urinal in Udaipur city within six months under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
If the field trials are successful, it would be widely launched across the country .The research team has been visiting various villages in the district these days to look for the possibility of field testing their first trials. During their visit on Saturday , members of the team Clare Backman and Irene Merino Jimenez met the zila parishad officials and were quite satisfied by the response they received from the villagers. “The urine bio-fuel cell technology could be used for many things such as charging mobile phones and other applications involving low electricity current,“ Clare said.“The pee-powered toilet could vastly improve women's safety in urinals or toilets that are often poorly-lit. By lighting we can create a safe environment so that women can go out, use the toilets even at night fearlessly ,“ informed O P Sharma, the country director, Wells for India.How it works?

Urine-tricity has been developed by a team of scientists led by Loannis Leropoulos at Bristol Robotics Laboratory .The team developed microbial fuel cells that use bacteria grown on carbon fiber anodes to feed on urine, breaking it down and generating electricity which is stored in a capacitor. The prototype developed by the University of the West England, Bristol, UK, has two half cells and a membrane separating the two cells. It is the continuous cascade of urine through a series of fuel cells that keeps up the electricity production by constantly `feeding' the bacteria.

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