For most of us, we see urine as waste, as in we go to the toilet to dispel it from our bodies and we’re done. However for some survivalists such as TV personality Bear Grylls, he sees urine as a last measure means of staying alive in emergency situations. That being said apart from it being used as an emergency source to keep ourselves hydrated, it seems that our urine can also be used for non-consumable purposes too.
This is thanks to a team led by Ioannis Ieropoulos over at the University of the West of England, where the team has successfully developed a pair of socks which can apparently store your pee and use it to generate electricity. How does this work? Your pee is stored in socks and when you walk about with them, it will force the liquid to circulate through integrated tubes.
The tubes lead towards microbial fuel cells which contains bacteria that will consume the nutrients from your body’s waste and in turn generate electricity. The amount of electricity generated won’t be enough to power a home, but it was enough to power a wireless transmitter to send out a message every two minutes, perfect in those situations where you might need to broadcast an emergency message and your phone is dead or you don’t have coverage.
That being said it might be a while before we start seeing these socks being sold in your camping/outdoor stores, but it does open a lot of possibilities in terms of alternative means of generating electricity.