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March 12th, 2007 at 8:51 am

Pee Power: The Urine Powered Battery

Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology created the credit card-size battery as a disposable power source for medical test kits.


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In 2005, Singapore scientist King Bang Lee and colleagues invented a battery powered by urine.

To make the battery, Lee and his colleagues soaked a piece of paper in a solution of copper chloride and sandwiched it between strips of magnesium and copper. This sandwich was then laminated between two sheets of transparent plastic.

When a drop of urine is added to the paper through a slit in the plastic, a chemical reaction takes place that produces electricity, Lee said.

The prototype battery produced about 1.5 volts, the same as a standard AA battery, and runs for about 90 minutes. Researchers said the power, voltage, and lifetime of the battery can be improved by adjusting the geometry and materials used.


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