Finding a viable alternative energy source to create low cost bio energy may be closer than we think. Some of these sources include energy from trash and algae as fuel for our future energy needs. Another alternative energy source, comes from a “product” usually discarded as a waste substance: urine. The use of urine as a
fuel source was previously written about when a group of high school students in Lagos Nigeria created a practical way to separate hydrogen from urine and then use it to power a generator to create electricity.
Going one step further, a research engineer from the University of Sorona State in Northern Mexico has found a way to use urine’s natural ability as an electrolyte to separate to separate oxygen from hydrogen in common urine and create a viable biofuel.
The engineer, Gabriel Luna-Sandoval, claims to have invented a machine that transforms urine into a biogas that can be used to provide power to heat water in kitchens, bathrooms, and other household uses. The conversion process developed by Dr. Luna-Sandoval involves inserting electrodes into a square plastic container holding the urine. The charged electrodes then separate oxygen and hydrogen from the urine with the hydrogen being used as a biogas.
Luna-Sandoval’s prototype device creates enough biogas to provide His invention provides enough heat for a 15-minute hot shower, using only 15 to 20 millilitres of urine. Cooking food like beans for one hour requires only 70 to 130 millilitres of urine, he says.
He is also thinking about the oxygen separation process as being beneficial for astronauts in space travel. “An average adult person “produces” around 1.4 liters of urine a day, which normally is thrown away. Why not put this waste material to good use, he says. The device Luna-Sandoval created has received attention from the government’s National Science and Technology Council, which featured it in a recent article.
This is just another idea for making use of a waste substance that is normally flushed down the toilet.
Read more on alternative energy ideas:
Algae returns as fuel for our future
Pee power is making electricity from urine in Africa
Energy from Trash to Become Reality with $17 Million Israeli Investment
Photos of Gabriel Luna-Sandova and his urine processing device by phys.org/news