Wearable energy generator uses urine to power wireless transmitter

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Urine could become an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, according to the inventors of socks which use waste fluid to create electricity.

The wearable technology can generate enough electricity to power a wireless transmitter, researchers at the University of West England (UWE) said in a press release.
Soft tubes placed under the heels of the footwear ensure that urine keeps being pumped while a person is walking. The pumped urine passes over microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which are energy generators located inside the footwear’s material support.

The MFCs contain bacteria capable of eating the urine and breaking it down, producing electrons in the process.

The electricity created is then able to power a wireless transmitter that sends a signal to a computer.

The invention was inspired by the simple cardiovascular system of fish, the researchers said.

The technology can use any organic waste to produce electricity, and could be an alternative to fossil fuels, according to the UWE press release.

The invention also opens up the possibility to use waste to power portable and wearable devices, according to Ioannis Ieropoulos, from the Bristol BioEnergy Center at UWE.

1. The urine-powered socks system functioning like a fish cardiovascular system
2. Urine passing through the footwear soft tubes while person is walking
3. The urine passing over microbial fuel cells (MFC) inside the material support
4. The bacteria inside the MFC producing electricity from urine
5. The electricity produced by MFC charging a wireless transmitter, which sends signal to a computer
6. Container storing urine

VOICEOVER (in English):

"The urine-powered footwear design was inspired by the simple cardiovascular system of fish."

"Soft tubes under the heels pump urine while a person is walking,"

"circulating the urine over microbial fuel cells embedded in the socks."

"The microbial fuel cells contain bacteria that consume organic waste. The fuel cells convert energy produced by microbial growth into electricity."

"The electricity generated by the socks can power a wireless transmitter that sends a signal to a computer."

"The system comes with a container that can store up to 648 millilitres of urine."

SOURCES: University of the West England, IOP Science