They're taking the urine!

Scientists have taken a significant step forward in developing a technology that not only uses urine to generate electricity, but can also kill pathogens in wastewater, according to research published in PLOS One. The emerging biotechnology uses fuel cells with microorganisms that feed on urine to generate electricity. A team from the University of the West of England in the UK in collaboration with Oxfam has already demonstrated that it's possible to rig a urinal with cheap urine-powered fuel cells to generate enough electricity for the cubicle lighting. But if it can also kill pathogens in wastewater, it opens up a host of other potential uses, including routine installation in off-grid areas of the world where municipal resources for cleaning waste are in short supply. To find out more check out Urine disinfection and in situ pathogen killing using a Microbial Fuel Cell cascade system.