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Fuel Cell Technology Enables Urine to Charge Phone

University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory researchers have created a fuel cell able to convert urine to electricity sufficient to power a cellular phone. The technology uses bacteria, which the researchers grew on carbon fiber anodes. The anodes were put inside ceramic cylinders into which urine was passed. The bacteria broke down the urine, creating a small electrical charge that could be stored on a capacitor. The researchers were able to send an SMS message, web browse, and make a short phone call on a single charge. The proof-of-concept fuel cell they created is the size of a car battery, but they intend to work on shrinking it so it can be portable and fully charge a battery. They also want it to be used for powering other devices in the home and are working to develop a smart toilet. The work was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. (Discovery News)(BBC)(Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics) 

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