Your Pee Could Save You in the Wild

Researchers find way to charge cell phones, GPS with urine


Bear Grylls made urine a famous survival tool when he first guzzled the stuff on Man vs. Wild to prevent dehydration. Then someone released a genius video about starting a signal fire with it. Now, pee may very well save you from becoming stranded in the wilderness.

Researchers from England have made it possible to convert urine into electricity using waste-eating bacteria. This conversion process is accomplished using a microbial fuel cell that can currently turn a few moments of “relief” into enough fuel to send a few text messages, or make a call for help.

Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos, from the University of the West of England, told the Independent what makes using urine for electricity so practical:

“The beauty of this fuel source is that we are not relying on the erratic nature of the wind or sun; we are actually reusing waste to create energy. One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine.”

Right now the “urine-converter” is about the size of a car battery, but researchers are working on smaller, more portable versions. The possibilities are endless for pee-powered technology. Dr. Ieropoulos believes they could one day be installed in our bathrooms, putting our urine to work day and night providing electricity throughout the house. A urine-fueled utopia if you will.

Check out the video below to see the converter in action. Don’t worry, they left out the “collection process.”


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