The ability to urinate the highest up a wall is a widely-accepted and long-standing marker of male virility.
So working on this venerable scientific benchmark – and not to be outdone by Scottish Water’s plans to generate heat from sewage – scientists at Bristol Bio Centre are set to demonstrate how they can turn urine into ‘renewable’ electricity.
The BBC boffins will demonstrate their Pee Power project at this year’s Glastonbury pop festival by using urine and microbial fuel cell technology to generate electricity.
Pee Power works via stacks of microbial fuel cells that use urine as a fuel for direct electricity generation when live bacteria consumes urine for their growth and maintenance. The microbial fuel cell technology taps a portion of that biochemical energy used for microbial growth, and converts it directly into electricity.
Pee Power from the 40-man urinal (sounds very sexist!) which is the closest to the Pyramid stage at this years’ festival will for the first time power up displays giving information and festival updates.
It is anticipated that at pee-k times, there will be more than 1,000 litres of urine per day flowing through the microbial fuel cells generating enough Pee Power to charge 10 information panels.
The Pee Power project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.