Harnessing power from alternative sources has always been a top priority when it comes to research. Wind power and sea power have been used for some time now in order to generate electricity. Lately, a team of British scientists have managed to prove the overwhelming power of pee. Pee-powered socks power WI-FI router and posts “Hello, world!” messages every 2 minutes.
First we have had the power of coal, then the power of electricity, followed by the might of the wind and now we have the power of the pee. Indeed, a team of crackerjack researchers from the University of West London have devised an apparatus which is actually capable of transforming urine into electricity, through some cleverly designed and very chic socks.
According to their appraisals, the device will be able to store up to 648 milliliters of urine. The liquid will be stored in a very complex network of tubes, which run all over the sock. So, how does this quaint device actually work? When the user begins to walk, the liquid inside the integrated tubes is forced through a series of microbial fuel cells.
This fuel cell contains a certain type of bacteria that preys on the compounds found in urine. Once the bacteria consume the nutrients found inside of urine, they will start to create electricity, which can be stored inside several capacitors.
In order to test their new gadget, the British researchers have set up a little lab experiment. Using these wonder socks, the group was able to power up a WI-FI router for a couple of minutes. They even manage to broadcast several messages on the web every 2 minutes, using nothing but socks and urine.
The experiment proved once and for all that pee-powered socks powers WI-Fi router. Moreover, this experiment opens the way to a whole new generation of biological devices which can have any number of applications. Of course, this concept is not something altogether new. There many other out there who tried to produce electricity using urine. But the experiment is considered to be a breakthrough because it’s the first one out there that actually uses mainly organic components in order to generate electricity.
There was, in fact, another produce on the market that had similar capabilities, but instead of using bacteria is used an electrical pump in order to get things going.
These findings were drafted into a study which was later published in Bioinspiration and Biometrics. When asked about the concept behind this pair of socks, the British scientists declared that they were inspired by the single cycle circulation, a circulatory system found in fish.