Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not ... So to Speak

You may recall that last month I wrote a post titled Solving the Economic Crisis by Going on the Poop Standard, in which I introduced you to cupriavidus metallidurans - a bacterium that eats poisonous gold chloride and ... um ... excretes pure gold. This struck me as being a unique way of addressing the current economic crisis ... if geese that lay golden eggs are in short supply nowadays*, perhaps we can fall back on gold-pooping bacteria as a source of revenue enhancement.

As it turns out, it's not only poop we can consider as we investigate the potentially valuable properties of bodily waste.

My brother Mark yesterday sent me a link to this very interesting article from Yahoo News: Urine-Powered Generator Unveiled at International Exhibition.

Four African girls - 14 year-old Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin and 15 year-old Bello Eniola - have created a generator that produces six hours of electricity using a single liter of urine as fuel.

According to the article, the generator works like this:

Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen. The hydrogen is purified in a water filter and forced into a gas cylinder, which pushes it into a cylinder of liquid borax, which removes the moisture from the hydrogen. The dried, purified hydrogen gas is then pushed into the generator, where it is burned as fuel.

The beauty of this system is, of course, it's ability to use a nearly endless and otherwise discarded commodity as a source of power. The downside is that someone has to collect the raw material and transport it to the generator, but a job is a job, right? 

It occurs to me that the urine-powered generator could be a valuable asset to the nation's otherwise non-existent plan for transition to new sources of clean energy. Instead of peeing all over each other's plans, Republicans and Democrats could instead pee into receptacles conveniently located in their offices, paramours' apartments, and throughout the Capitol Building, contributing the material thus collected to centrally-located generators where it could be put to good use. 

Here is a photo of a new, P-sized battery ...

While we're at it, we could also install wind turbines on Capitol Hill to capture the wasted energy potential of the vast amounts of hot air and wind generated by Congress as it otherwise accomplishes nothing of value. Of course, care would have be taken by members of Congress to avoid pissing into the wind (at which they are otherwise quite adept), but this could probably be managed in most cases**.

Let's go for it - pee proudly and do your part for energy independence!

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* According to Democrats, wealthy Americans are the 21st century equivalent.

** Except for the most far-right radical Republicans, who would certainly object to any government restriction on their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to pee wherever and whenever they want.


Amanda said...

Those girls are smart!

Out of curiosity I Googled how much urine an average person produces a day and its about 2 litres. So, thats 12 hours of electricity.....it might be enough if we don't need to draw on it continuously. Otherwise, you'd have to BUY somebody else's pee - thats strange.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

It would be very hard to control those anarchistic pee-ers, little boys. As for Congress, a singularly appropriate analogy deserving of a song!


Mike said...

I heard about this the other day. I've started saving up. I'm thinking full scale power plant.

Duckbutt said...

I've been pissing away a fortune for too long. That settles, I'm saving milk jugs!

allenwoodhaven said...

I hadn't heard about this. Fascinating! If the generators aren't too expensive to produce, it could go a long way to help energy poor areas. One question: what kind of waste product is there?