# Tuesday, 15 March 2011

This is an interesting idea, its a way of turning urine into hydrogen fuel. The idea comes from Gerardine Botte, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio University. She worked on the fact that urine contains two compounds that can be a source of hydrogen, ammonia and urea. By placing an electrode in wastewater and applying a gentle current she then found that hydrogen gas can be used to power a fuel cell. Her system works in the same way as the electrolysis of water but ammonia and urea hold their hydrogen atoms less tightly than water meaning less energy is required to split them off. The technology would be put to the best use in areas where there are large numbers of people such as airports and sports stadiums with an office building of 200 to 300 workers having the potential to generate 2 kilowatts of power, It could also be used to generate power from animals with the urine produced by 1,000 cows generating around 40 to 50 kilowatts of power. It’s certainly an interesting idea particularly as it make use of a waste product.