Pee-Power used to generate electricity in socks sans additional power
Urine’s novel use has been found and that is powering a device. A pair of socks has been developed by a team of researchers from University of the West England in Bristol, UK, in which when one walks in forces urine to circulate through integrated tubes towards microbial fuels cells (MFCs) already having bacteria that swallows nutrients and create electricity.
Generate electricity from urine is not a new concept. Earlier also, Ioannis Ieropoulo from the University of the West of England has powered a mobile phone, a transmitter and a 3-D printed robotic heart using MFCs and urine. But it required electric pump to continually feed the microbes, hence limiting the use.
Now, the main aim behind developing such kind of socks was to have self-sufficient, wearable device that does not require any additional power to work. For the purpose, the researchers have developed a manual foot pump, which uses flexible silicon tubes that wraps under the heels and connect to MFCs near the ankles.
Whenever, step is taken it leads to squeezing and releasing of the tubes to pump the urine around. Walking around mechanically, pumps urine from a 640 ml bladder through the silicon tubes into the MFCs. The power produced was not much was sufficient to wirelessly transmit the phrase ‘ World’s First Wearable MFC’ every two minutes.
“There is a boom in wearable electronics, and the ability to make biological fuel cells that are flexible and wearable takes the application to the next level”, affirmed Healther Luckarift, a researcher at Universal Technology Corporation, Ohio.
The study researchers aim to have gear or clothing that is already fitted with the excretion, so that people do not have to take tension about collecting or handling their urine. Socks are not ready for consumer. The socks can eventually be used for a variety of applications like military operation and medical treatments.
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