Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fueling Cars with Urine?

Urine-powered cars, homes and personal electronic devices could be available in 6 months with new technology developed by scientists from Ohio University.

The concept is simple: Using a nickle-based electrode, scientists can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine, and use that hydrogen in fuel cells, or burn it.
"One cow can provide enough energy to supply hot water for 19 houses," said Gerardine Botte, a professor developing the technology at Ohio University. "Soldiers in the field could carry their own fuel."

Up until now, hydrogen has presented many barriers due to the expense of converting it for safe storage (and transporting it), then converting it for use as a fuel. Botte and her colleagues have found a safer and cheaper means by chemically binding hydrogen to nitrogen.

A fuel-cell urine powered vehicle could theoretically travel 90 miles per gallon. But, don't start saving your urine just yet; there is much research still to be done.

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