British researchers use urine to charge mobile phone

British researchers from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory claim to have found a way to use urine to charge a mobile phone.

CBS reports that the scientists passed the urine through a stack of microbial cells which reacted to compounds including chloride, sodium and potassium.

As a result, as the Royal Society of Chemistry journal reported, they were able to harness a charge that was strong enough to make a brief call on a moble phone, send a text message or browse the web.

Dr Adam Best, a senior research scientist at CSIRO's Material Science Engineering Unit, is familiar with the process. He told the ABC’s PM program, "The process simply works by having the urine and water mixing together in a similar sort of structure as you would have a normal fuel cell."

"So whereby you're applying the urine to one side or the negative side of the cell, and water on the positive side of the cell.

"The reaction that occurs at the interface between the urine solution and the water actually creates the voltage and the power and the energy to actually drive the system."

The scientists are now planning to develop the technology to the point that it can fully charge the handheld phone. Also, it is hoped that it could produce enough electricity to power showers, lighting or razors.

According to the laboratory, the electricity is a by-product of the microbes' natural life cycle. When they eat, they generate.

Image: Screengrab from Bristol Robotics Labrotories’ youtube video