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Thread: Pee power?

  1. #1
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Pee power?

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...nebattery.html

    Urine Battery Turns Pee Into Power

    John Roach
    for National Geographic News

    August 18, 2005
    Before you next flush the toilet, consider this: Scientists in Singapore have developed a battery powered by urine.

    Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology created the credit card-size battery as a disposable power source for medical test kits.

    Scientists have been scrambling to create smaller, more efficient, and less expensive "biochips" to test for diseases such as diabetes. Until now, however, similarly small batteries to power the devices remained elusive.

    Diagnostic test kits commonly analyze the chemical composition of a person's urine to detect a malady. Ki Bang Lee and his colleagues realized that the substance being tested—urine—could also power the test.

    "In order to address this problem, we have designed a disposable battery on a chip, which is activated by biofluids such as urine," Lee wrote in an e-mail to National Geographic News.

    The research team describes the battery in the current issue of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

    Daniel Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, said the technology is a welcome innovation in a time of rising energy prices.

    "All jokes [about] urine aside, what is needed are low-cost batteries. …" he said. "The other neat thing about this is the fact that it's basically a biodegradable battery."

    Urine Power

    To make the battery, Lee and his colleagues soaked a piece of paper in a solution of copper chloride and sandwiched it between strips of magnesium and copper. This sandwich was then laminated between two sheets of transparent plastic.

    When a drop of urine is added to the paper through a slit in the plastic, a chemical reaction takes place that produces electricity, Lee said.

    The prototype battery produced about 1.5 volts, the same as a standard AA battery, and runs for about 90 minutes. Researchers said the power, voltage, and lifetime of the battery can be improved by adjusting the geometry and materials used.

    Urine contains many ions (electrically charged atoms), which allows the electricity-producing chemical reaction to take place in the urine battery, said UC Berkeley's Kammen. Other bodily fluids, such as tears, blood, and semen, would work easily as well to activate the battery.

    "Little bags of urine may generate chuckles," Kammen said. "But really urine is just a nice example [of] a whole variety of compounds that do this stuff." Even children's lunch-box fruit-juice packets are sufficient, he added.

    Alternative Energy

    While medical devices inspired the urine battery, it can activate any electric device with low power consumption, according to Lee, the battery's co-inventor.

    "For example, we can integrate a small cell phone and our battery on a plastic card. This can be activated by body fluids, such as saliva, during an emergency," he said.

    According to Kammen the technology could even be applied to laptop computers, mp3 players, televisions, and cars. Body-fluid-powered batteries "can do all kinds of things. The issue is how they scale up" to produce more power, he said.

    One approach is to simply build larger batteries. Another method is to link lots of little battery cells side by side, which is how the batteries in laptop computers work, Kammen explained.

    Kammen, who advocates government funding for alternative energy research, says the wide number of applications for cheap and efficient biofluid-powered batteries illustrates the value of research. "Investigation leads to innovation," he said.
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  3. #2
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    Moises Alou is smiling..........
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  4. #3
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    Dead battery? Urine luck!
    /r/reds

  5. #4
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    It keeps going, and going, and going...
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  6. #5
    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    That brings a whole new image to mind of a leaky battery!
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
    -Todd Snider

  7. #6
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    Battery's dead!

    Get me some water
    Go Gators!

  8. #7
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    Reminds me of that scene from "Me, Myself, and Irene" where the guy comes running out of the store yelling at Jim Carrey.... "GET YOUR #$@! OUT OF MY CADILLAC!"
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  9. #8
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    (AP) Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Reds CEO John Allen announce the Cincinnati Reds will power their ballpark lights by urine. Effective immediately all the plumbing from the the rest rooms will lead to a new urine power generator. John Allen plans to increase the urine production by switching all beer sold in the ballpark to Coors.

  10. #9
    Member 15fan's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    "Other bodily fluids, such as tears, blood, and semen, would work easily as well to activate the battery."

    Urine and semen as energy sources?


  11. #10
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    According to Kammen the technology could even be applied to laptop computers, mp3 players, televisions, and cars.
    Yeah, those cars will just keep whizzing along with those batteries.
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  12. #11
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    I don't think I've seen so many bad jokes collected in one place since I stopped watching Monty Python skits.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
    -Ken Griffey Jr.

  13. #12
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    But women can't pee straight can they? So if they are stranded and need their battery filled, they are gonna need a man. I just knew all those years of practicing writing my name in the snow would prove useful later on!
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  14. #13
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    Quote Originally Posted by zombie-a-go-go
    I don't think I've seen so many bad jokes collected in one place since I stopped watching Monty Python skits.
    We're bored and just p*ssing the time away zombie!
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  15. #14
    Member Deepred05's Avatar
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    Re: Pee power?

    With a couple of six packs, I could afford that big truck I want to get.


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