Urine could be the hydrogen fuel of the future


US researchers have discovered a way to extract hydrogen from human urine that can then be used as fuel for hydrogen cars.

Although initial stages of the research used fake pee—or rather synthetic urine—the process works just as well with real human piss, Dr. Gerardine Botte claimed.

Botte, an Associate Professor from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department at Ohio University, said that extracting hydrogen from urine will cost less than extracting hydrogen from water. She uses electrolysis to break the molecule apart, developing an inexpensive nickel-based electrode to efficiently oxidize the urea.

To break the molecule down, a voltage of 0.37V needs to be applied across the cell, which is much less than the 1.23V needed to split water.

“During the electrochemical process the urea gets adsorbed on to the nickel electrode surface, which passes the electrons needed to break up the molecule,” Botte told Chemistry World.

For now, it doesn’t look as if the technology will be readily available anytime soon but this could be the future of automobile fuel.