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Refugee camps could soon be powered by… PEE

And it’s all thanks to a urinal.

File photo.
File photo.

Updated 3.16pm

FLUSHING YOUR PEE down the toilet has been a waste.

Researchers had previously developed a way of harnessing this common waste, using it to power lights and even mobile phones. This tech has now been put into a urinal to form an actual ‘power plant’.

It is hoped it could be used to power refugee camps in disaster zones.

The device, currently being trailed near the Student Union Bar at the University of the West of England, uses microbial fuel cells which feed on the urine to grow.

The research was led by Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, Director of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre. He said:

“The MFC is, in effect, a system which taps a portion of that biochemical energy used for microbial growth, and converts that directly into electricity – what we are calling urine-tricity or pee power,”

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Oxfam Ireland Chief Executive Jim Clarken, whose organisation has teamed up with researchers to work on this new technology, welcomed the new tech.

“It is always a challenge to light inaccessible areas far from a power supply.

This technology is a huge step forward. Living in a refugee camp is hard enough without the added threat of being assaulted in dark places at night. The potential of this invention is huge.The cost of the device has been estimated at roughly €800.

Read: Wee-resistant wall paint is causing a splash in Hamburg >

More: This court says German men can pee standing up if they want to >

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Nicky Ryan

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