Pee Power: Recharge your phone with a leak

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Urine MFC

Talk of possibilities. Perhaps very soon, when you need to recharge your smartphone’s battery, you will be heading for the restroom to take a leak. Ooooh, yes! Bristol Robotics Laboratory scientists at the University of the West of England have invented a way to get your phone recharged with urine. Using a microbial fuel cell (MFC), which use bacteria to break down organic material and create power, the scientists were able to generate enough power to “enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call” from using human urine.

Here is a quote from team leader Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos:

“So far the microbial fuel power stack that we have developed generates enough power to enable SMS messaging, web browsing and to make a brief phone call. Making a call on a mobile phone takes up the most energy but we will get to the place where we can charge a battery for longer periods. The concept has been tested and it works – it’s now for us to develop and refine the process so that we can develop MFCs to fully charge a battery.”


We are looking at a free and available source of power for mobile here. Say hello to pee power. Let’s hope that this goes commercial and that we can soon have pee-powered automobiles and generators. There is a huge market waiting for this technology here in Nigeria. We the downtrodden can literally tell PHCN and NNPC to go to hell should that happen.

Here’s a video of Ieropoulos explaining his team’s setup:

Do head over to GiGaOM for the full story: Has your phone run out of juice? These researchers can recharge it with human urine.


  1. This invention could hardly have any practical application on individual scale. Other technologies that look more promising like solar power etc are not even mainstream yet not to talk of using urin with the accompanying stench to generate power for personal use.

    This discovery can hardly take off.

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