HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Thursday, July 16, 2009


A friend of mine forwarded the following tidbit to me:

Scientists from Ohio University have come across a way to harvest large amounts of cheap hydrogen from a rather unlikely source: urine. Apparently, plucking hydrogen atoms from urine is much easier than getting it from water.
Gerardine Botte, one of the Ohio University professors actively developing this "pee power" technology, attributes this difference to urea, a cleaner of diesel emissions and major component of urine. A molecule of urea is composed of four hydrogen atoms and two nitrogen atoms. Applying an electric current using a special nickel electrode causes those hydrogen atoms to pop right off. The trick is that it requires about 97 percent less electricity to release the hydrogen from the urea molecules than from a water molecule--specifically 0.037 volt for urine versus 1.23 volts for water.
Imagine a future where fuel cell vehicles get 90 miles per gallon (of pee) and farms generate their own power from livestock waste. That future could be here sooner than you think. Botte currently has a working small-scale prototype that generates up to 500 milliwatts of power, and she plans to have large-scale examples up and running in about six months.
I imagine this will probably change the nature of stopping for a fill-up during a long road trip.


"Pee Power" -- I like it! Do you think someday we will be able to drive cross country with nothing more than one of those drug store provided pee tubes that were formerly used only by those people who couldn't get out of bed? Pass me another bottle of water! The pee gauge is down to a quarter!



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