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Cell Phone Powered By Urine

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the want-to-use-my-phone? dept.

Cellphones 88

sciencehabit writes "The newest source of battery power for your cell phone is both cheap and abundant. Scientists report that microbial fuel cells using human urine can directly power a cell phone battery. However, the devices are not quite portable enough to come in handy during a marathon pub crawl. One consists of six, 4-inch-long ceramic cylinders; the other is a network of 25 smaller fuel cells borrowed from the team's waste-fueled EcoBot. And urine-powered conversations would have to be short and sweet. After 24 hours of charging, a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes—enough to send several texts and make a 6-minute, 20-second call."

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88 comments

Yeah but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44312935)

Yeah but it gets piss-poor reception, even when using frosty piss.

What a faget (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44312947)

R U ghey, bray? Do U even lift? U sound like a fukking faget to me.

Re:What a faget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313067)

Not NEARLY as much as you do, pally.

Re:What a faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313291)

do u even lift, faget?

Re:What a faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313613)

I'm intrigued - what is a Faget, how much does one weigh and why are you so interested in lifting one?

Is this something about you picking up these Fagets on the piss we're all missing?

Re:What a faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313815)

and why are you so interested in lifting one?

There's a comma in the sentence. Do u you even English, faget?

Re:What a faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313977)

I don't lift English Fagets no... no matter how much piss there's on, I don't think... I can't be sure for the moment.

Why are you calling out English Fagets for lifting anyway, what are these Fagets and why are you picking them up?

Why does the piss have anything to do with it? Do you lift or pickup (Fagets?) without piss too? Is that what I'm missing here?

Do you internet often - you'd make more sense if you did I think.

Re:What a faget (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about 9 months ago | (#44314159)

I'm intrigued - what is a Faget

An US physician in New Orleans in the 19th century? [wikipedia.org]

Is this something about you picking up these Fagets on the piss we're all missing?

Well, Faget worked with yellow fever patients, and we all know what else is often yellow....

Re:What a faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314269)

I thought a faget was someone who sukked cawk.

Re:What a faget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314387)

Is this role of theirs in the Cawk industry labourious and crippling?

Then I could understand why the poster above would need to pick up Fagets, and due to the obscurity of this all I can guess that there'd need to be a lot of piss involved after getting all dirty and going down that road of picking them up.

Re:What a faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314939)

I thought a faget was someone who sukked cawk.

No, actually that would be a fagive.

Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313119)

top lel install gentoo

new Apple advertising slogan! (0)

swschrad (312009) | about 9 months ago | (#44313145)

"Go ahead, piss on your Samsung Galaxy. They want you to. And we'll be open at 9 tomorrow morning for you."

How does one pee for 24h straight ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44312945)

You'd be too drunk to speak over the phone by then.

So shit tech then (2)

happyurine (2987561) | about 9 months ago | (#44312963)

And urine-powered conversations would have to be short and sweet. After 24 hours of charging, a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes

Why do we even post this if it's that shitty charger?

Re:So shit tech then (4, Insightful)

lightBearer (2692183) | about 9 months ago | (#44313135)

...because it's a start? Not all technology starts of at it's peak. This just happens to be a piss-poor beginning.

Re:So shit tech then (2)

dintech (998802) | about 9 months ago | (#44315731)

"Hi, I'm not home at the moment so please wash your hands and call back later."

"Oh... hi... it's me. I'll call back later when urine..."

Re:So shit tech then (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 9 months ago | (#44313159)

I assume most battery tech started out bad and got better as improvements were made.

Re:So shit tech then (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#44313249)

Not really. Lead acid is about as good now as it was 50 years ago. Nickel Cadmium used to suck and it still does. Sure chemical batteries have come a long way, but only because we completely changed the chemicals we used. Although it might be possible that some microbial fuel cell might be reasonably useful in the future, it will be fed something much more energy dense than urine, and will use some kind of genetically engineered super microbes, and will be as similar to this as lithium polymer is to a zinc-carbon battery.

Re:So shit tech then (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 9 months ago | (#44315581)

Not really. Lead acid is about as good now as it was 50 years ago.

No, it is worse. Older car batteries used to spend a few months getting noticably worse, but still usable, like you needed to put them on charge on cold nights. So you got advance warning that you needed a new one, and you could avoid getting to the point of being stranded somewhere. Nowadays, they fail suddenly and completely with no warning - my last failure was a totally dead battery after I had only stopped for 15 minutes to buy something on the way home from work, even though it had been perfectly good until then. First time in my life I ever had to call a breakdown service.

Perhaps modern car batteries are "better" in have a higher power/weight or are "greener" in some way. I don't care.

Re:So shit tech then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44317429)

But is it as good as it was 154 years ago?

Whole new meaning.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#44312967)

to when your mate calls you to take the piss...

Re:Whole new meaning.. (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 9 months ago | (#44313259)

There that is again! What the hell does "taking the piss" even mean? And why would anyone want to take the piss? I often want to take A piss but not THE piss. British slang is British :)

Re:Whole new meaning.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313453)

The fact you keep asking as we Colonialists either don't answer (or misdirect you) is taking the piss.

Re:Whole new meaning.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313703)

This is obviously derived from Roman times when native Brits collected the piss pots of their Roman owners, hence "Taking the piss".

Re:Whole new meaning.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314467)

Are you sure it wasn't an Australian born reference to the convicts working in the early colonies' breweries would swap the sample batch of booze with a container of their own urine.

The result was free rum and beer for convicts who were expected to dispose of the "Failed Brews" - i.e. taking the piss.

windmill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44312981)

This could be done like a wind turbine in which you pee into a little propeller and the spluttering urine creates electricity. Sort of a golden shower by proxy.

I have two concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44312993)

No. 1, I don't think it's a good idea.

And No. 2, now maybe that could work but it would smell even worse.

Re:I have two concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313107)

I think the biggest concern is that some people just have too much time on their hands.

Re:I have two concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44316159)

When I have too much time on my hands I like to masturbate. Usually 20 or 30 minutes after ejaculating I need to urinate. So, this technology encourages me to masturbate, in order to keep my phone going so I can have more phone sex, Win win?

To their credit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44312997)

This is a lot better than those "better drink my own piss" memes...

Too big to be portable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313017)

If the device is to big to be portable, simply convert every urinal everywhere, to a combo battery recharge and free wifi hot spot!!

JJ

Re:Too big to be portable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44315679)

And charge women for use of the recharger and WiFi as they will not be contributing any fuel to the process. Or maybe help conserving both water and energy by putting urinals (adapted for female use) in the Ladies rooms - and persuading the women to use them.

grammar-school physics (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 9 months ago | (#44313025)

It's like people are rediscovering that you can make a battery out of any random electrolyte and two dissimilar metals to get grants.

Who *didn't* make a battery out of a potato or lemon as a kid, or at least didn't see it demonstrated in 4'th grade?

--
BMO

But this isn't a battery.... (4, Insightful)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 9 months ago | (#44313659)

This is a fuel cell, not a simple primary cell like you make from a lemon and a couple coins. The urine isn't acting as a simple electrolyte here.

The urine acts as the fuel, and a fuel cell will keep producing power as long as it has fuel and oxygen. Unlike a primary electrochemical cell, the electrodes are not consumed as part of the reaction.

Re:grammar-school physics (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 9 months ago | (#44314265)

It's like people are rediscovering that you can make a battery out of any random electrolyte and two dissimilar metals to get grants.

Seriously. It doesn't take a whiz to figure this out.

Re:grammar-school physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44315945)

Here's a 3 cent battery [youtube.com] that you make from pennies, cardboard, and vinegar that's a lot more powerful than the lemon battery since you can stack it easily to get whatever voltage you want.

Re:grammar-school physics (1)

Nephrite (82592) | about 9 months ago | (#44319495)

The real problem is that reports is misguiding. What really is used in those batteries are the metal electrodes. The electrolite isn't used up (except for eveporation) and can be anything. The "urine power" is just cheap marketing trick.

Re:grammar-school physics (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 9 months ago | (#44320643)

we just had a similar article only what, 6 months ago?, about the same thing: using microbes to extra power from septic tanks.

Piss off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313027)

So now, "I'm gonna piss off" means charging.

New excuse (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 9 months ago | (#44313055)

A new excuse to walk up to someone, and ask them to pee on your phone.

Could you wizz on my phone so I can call my girlfriend?

Bad news everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313063)

This virtually guarantees you'll always be able to drunk dial.

Expense account. (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 9 months ago | (#44313121)

At last I will be able to expense beer.
Quick overpriced beer in the airport lounge, and my phone is back to a full charge.
How is that not a legitimate work expense?

urine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313169)

eww... i'm ready to eat supper. lol *closes internet explorer*

Re:urine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313355)

eww... i'm ready to eat supper. lol *closes internet explorer*

Eww, Internet Exploder?

NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313191)

im just worried that the nsa will be taking my urine samples without consent.

Take the fuel cell to the source... (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 9 months ago | (#44313255)

the devices are not quite portable

So put one underneath every one of those trough urinals in football stadiums and hockey rinks. Use the power generated to run the stadium lights, recharge electric cars, or hydrolyze water to create fuel for more portable fuel cells.

If they think I'm carrying around MORE urine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313309)

They're taking the piss.

So much for the moisture detector labels... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 9 months ago | (#44313679)

inside the phones.

No, I didn't drop the phone in water, I just pissed on it to charge it up. Honest!

why power cell phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313685)

why not (partially) power facilities with an abundance of urine? (schools, bars, stadiums, etc)

Bear Gryll Approved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44313839)

I can't wait to see an episode when he pees on his phone.

Chemistry (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 9 months ago | (#44313969)

What is the chemical reaction at stake here? Urine main compound is urea, which ofrmula is CO(NH2)2. How is energy extracted from it, and what is the byproduct?

I bet it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314185)

does piss test checking for the NSA to ensure even more Americans are unable to pass a background check in order to make pizzas.

iPiss from Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314187)

The next generation phone from Apple will be powered by pissing. It's called iPiss 5T. (5T for 5 times)

iPiss from Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314263)

The next generation phone from Apple will be called iPiss 5T.

Re:iPiss from Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44318617)

Yeah, but will you get your service from P-Mobile or Urizon?

Prediction (1)

Erbo (384) | about 9 months ago | (#44314747)

The advent of this technology means that, in the future, we'll hear people saying, "I'll be right back, I gotta take a wicked cellphone charge."

Quick Trademark Op! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314879)

The exact spot on the phone you need to pee on to get the charging happening is (oooooh wait for it)....

THE SLASH DOT!

Already well known (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44314947)

Its no secret that some of these phone companies have been pissing off their paying customers for years. It should be no surprise that powering these phones with urine has been how they've been doing it.

Relativity (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#44315241)

a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes—enough to send several texts and make a 6-minute, 20-second call.

It takes 25 minutes to make a 6-minute, 20-second call? Trippy.

Oh, no!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44315265)

Now the government will put a tax on piss...

Re:Oh, no!!! (1)

grahammm (9083) | about 9 months ago | (#44315693)

Now the government will put a tax on piss...

Already been done by the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

Sale skyrocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44316315)

on bluetooth headsets.

Pubcrawl sense (1)

rpresser (610529) | about 9 months ago | (#44317901)

Actually this makes sense to me for pubcrawls. Hook up the loo where everyone pisses to a bank of batteries, and let anyone at the bar plug in.

Can this be used also for P2P networking? (1)

Swave An deBwoner (907414) | about 9 months ago | (#44319043)

I mean, they're talking about cellular communications but this seems just perfect for P2P. Maybe a little bit messy though.

Urine from bees is better (1)

shikaisi (1816846) | about 9 months ago | (#44325457)

A better energy source is urine produced by bees instead of human urine. And it's already available today for powering motor vehicles. In fact I just filled my car up with BP.
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