comscore Pee-inspired technology to power your cars, homes
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Pee-inspired technology to power your cars, homes

Know that the world's population produces around 10.5 billion liters of urine each day? How about using this vast reservoir to generate power for cars, homes or even cities? According to Korean res

  • Published: June 13, 2014 3:47 PM IST
Power technology


Power technologyKnow that the world’s population produces around 10.5 billion liters of urine each day? How about using this vast reservoir to generate power for cars, homes or even cities? Also Read - Technology should be used for good of society: Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra at IIT Hyderabad

According to Korean researchers, carbon atoms recovered from human urine have the right kind of properties to replace expensive catalysts in fuel cell applications to achieve this. “We could use urine to create highly porous carbon containing heteroatoms such as N, S, Si, and P (nitrogen, sulphur, silicon and phosphorus) from human urine waste as a single precursor for carbon and multiple heteroatoms,” explained lead study author Jong-Sung Yu from Korea University. Fuel-cell technology converts chemical energy into electricity by reacting hydrogen and oxygen.These fuel cells work by delivering hydrogen gas to a negatively charged anode on one side of the fuel cell while oxygen is channeled to a positively charged cathode on the other side. Also Read - Trip down the memory lane: Tech we had to bid goodbye to in 2021

At the anode, a catalyst – usually platinum – knocks the hydrogen atoms’ electrons off, leaving positively charged hydrogen ions and free electrons. According to Korean scientists, this would be done by replacing expensive platinum used in current fuel cells with carbon naturally found in human waste. “There are other environmental benefits too that come with treating urine as a commodity rather than a waste product,” Jong-Sung Yu added. Fewer pollutants, such as leftover drugs, from urine would reach water bodies and the carbon recovered from urine could also be used in battery applications, he said in a paper published in the journal Nature. Also Read - Realme is directing 90% of R&D towards 5G technology and products: Madhav Sheth

  • Published Date: June 13, 2014 3:47 PM IST
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