Scientists from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (joining knowledge from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol) found a new power source (that's actually been there all along), which can be used to charge our mobile phones.
Speaking of alternative, green ways of producing electricity, believe us, it doesn't get much alternative or eco-friendly than this.
Fuel cells require hydrogen as the basic fuel, but they also require oxygen. Depending upon the fuel cell type, primary fuels that are also used today are carbon monoxide, methanol, and dilute light hydrocarbons (methane). If you're looking for the kind of fuel that will last for as long as humans will, here's your solution: researchers from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory added a 'newbie' to the above mentioned line-up. Urine.
The most interesting thing about it is that this new fuel cell is quite inexpensive compared to others, for it uses carbon cloth and titanium wire (instead of the usual platinum!).
Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos from UWE Bristol who is said to be "an expert at harnessing power from unusual sources using microbial fuel cells", stated on the project's website: "We are very excited as this is a world first, no-one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it's an exciting discovery. Using the ultimate waste product as a source of power to produce electricity is about as eco as it gets."
The scientists also believe that this technology has great potential to "be installed into domestic bathrooms to harness the urine and produce sufficient electricity to power showers, lighting or razors as well as mobile phones."
Well, why not? It's a key to practically endless renewable energy.