After the creation of the world’s first urine-powered smartphone, scientists are now looking into the possibility of improving “bio-batteries” using faeces.
Sounds gross right? Apparently, there is a potential that poo can provide energy for your gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in United Kingdom discovered a natural process that occurs within the bacteria present in both human and animal faeces.
Their study revealed that the bacteria present undergoes a “breathing process” in which they breathe in minerals of iron, just like how we breathe oxygen.
During the process, an electrical charge is released from the cell, much like the neutral wire in a household plug, which can be harnessed.
According to Julea Butt, lead researcher from the university’s school of chemistry and biological sciences, the bacteria found in faeces can produce electricity in the right environment.
“This is an exciting advance in our understanding of how some bacterial species move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell and helps us understand their behaviour as robust electron transfer modules,” Butt explained.
She added: “We hope that understanding how this natural process works will inspire the design of bespoke proteins which will underpin microbial fuel cells for sustainable energy production.”