Urine-powered cars of the future

Urine-powered cars of the future

2nd December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Could urine become the next crude oil?

Professor Gerri Botte has taken the concept of turning waste into a resource rather literally.

Hybrid cars were designed to cut greenhouse emissions. They don’t run on fossil fuels – they use hydrogen. But while hydrogen is prolific in nature, hydrogen gas isn’t just floating around waiting to be collected. It has to be extracted from water, methane and other fossil fuels.

And this process uses lots of energy. Which probably comes from fossil fuels, rendering the whole exercise a bit pointless.

One scientist might have found a solution to this problem by putting the pee in power – or rather taking power from pee. Gerri Botte is a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Ohio. She has invented an electrode that can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine.

Earth Beat asked Professor Botte to explain pee power:

Watch Gerri Botte demonstrate the technology behind urine-powered cars:


Jan Huisman
Radio Netherlands


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