Scientists Turn to Unlikely Source for Hydrogen: Urine

Finally, someone has found a productive end for human urine.

Usually when we see the word “pee” and the words “fuel” or “car” in the same sentence something decidedly unproductive has happened, i.e. “I peed in his fuel tank” or “I peed on his car.”

Rest easy though, because scientists at Ohio University are doing everything in their power to eliminate urine’s bad rap. They’ve developed a process which uses electrolysis to isolate the (whopping?) four hydrogen atoms present in every molecule of pee so they can be extracted for our fueling pleasure. And as it turns out, those atoms are bonded less tightly than the hydrogen found in water molecules, which in layman’s terms means that hydrogen derived from urine is actually more cost-effective than hydrogen extracted from water.

Who knew? If water is like the “golden boy” of the family – able over the years to do just about anything humanity required of it – urine has always been more like the “red-headed step-child.” Let this be a lesson to us all: don’t underestimate ANYTHING in this crazy world. What you’re pissing away into the toilet today could very well be an indispensable source of energy tomorrow.

Think about that the next time you’re relieving yourself.

Source: inhabitat

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