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The tests showed that microbial fuel cell cleans waste from the pathogens.

Urine is not just a product of our life. For several years she is a promising source of electricity. There are several technologies: for example, excrement from isolated carbon atoms that become part of the fuel cell catalysts.


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One of the most successful technologies to produce energy using microbial fuel cells. In 2013, the creators of the method received a grant from the charitable Foundation of bill and Melinda gates Foundation. The developers implemented the idea in several forms: from a simple charger for smartphones to socks, which could transmit GPS-coordinates.

The article is about an experiment published in the journal PLоS ONE.

Microbial fuel cells consist of three components: the cathode and anode chambers and a separating membrane . In the anode chamber under anaerobic conditions there are micro-organisms which “rip” electrons from the incoming material and transfer them to the anode. There are formed protons, which enter the cathode chamber through the membrane.

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The authors of the idea emphasize to widespread use of this technology, the production of electricity should be completely safe. System is needed clean-up of waste coming from sewage, from hazardous microorganisms. Only in this case the waste material after receiving the energy can be recycled — for example, to drain purified water from the river.


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The developers have tested fuel cell, adding to the waste the bacteria Salmonella enteritidis. Waste material the level of bacteria is quite consistent with sanitary standards.

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Today, scientists are working to enable the system to destroy all pathogens entering the urine. The next series of experiments will test the ability of a system to cope with viruses.