Don't Flush Your Toilet! Your Poop Could Be Used To Charge Your Smartphone

Just make sure you wash your hands.

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According to scientific reseach, bacteria in human waste could be used to improve battery life on smartphones

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According to a new scientific study, poop could be used to improve the battery life in devices such as smartphones. Researchers discovered that a natural process that occurs within the bacteria found in feces could help improve “bio batteries,” and what’s more it could be used across all batteries within any portable device.

Faeces could soon be used to power a future generation of mobile phones, scientists claim.
Researchers have discovered a natural process that occurs within the bacteria found in poo, that could help improve ‘bio batteries’.

The study was conducted by the University of East Anglia in Norwich, who found out that electrons could pass off electrical charges in bacteria under the right conditions

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The study from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich focused on how electrons cross bacterial proteins. Both human and animal waste contains bacteria, which 'breathe' minerals of iron - much like we breathe oxygen. An electrical charge is released as a side effect during this ‘breathing’ process.

The charge is released from the cell, similar to the neutral wire in a household plug, and can then be harnessed. The scientists looked at proteins called ‘multi-haem cytochromes’ that are contained in a species of bacteria called Shewanella, found in faeces.

Lead researcher Professor Julea Butt, from the university’s schools of chemistry and biological sciences, said, “These bacteria can generate electricity in the right environment. This is an exciting advance in our understanding of how some bacterial species move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell and helps us understand their behaviour as robust electron transfer modules. We hope that understanding how this natural process works will inspire the design of bespoke proteins which will underpin microbial fuel cells for sustainable energy production.”

To try and clarify the process in laymen’s terms, Butt explained, “Proteins conduct electricity by positioning metal centers – known as haems – to act in a similar way to stepping stones by allowing electrons to hop through an otherwise electrically insulating structure. This research shows that these centres should be considered as discs that the electrons hop across.”

Late last year, scientists harnessed the power of urine to create the world's first urine-powered smartphone

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A group of Bristol University boffins have come up with a piss idea for charging their mobile phones… harnessing the energy from their own urine.

In July last year, scientists at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory claimed to have developed the world's first urine-powered smartphone. They created a way of using urine as a power source to generate electricity.

This scientific breakthrough means that human waste can be used to enhance battery life

That basically means that poop can most likely be used to enhance battery life on mobile devices, as Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos, an expert at harnessing power from unusual sources from the University of West England, Bristol, says.

No-one has harnessed power from urine so it’s an exciting discovery. Using the ultimate waste product as a source of power to produce electricity is about as eco as it gets. One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine. By harnessing this power as urine passes through a cascade of MFCs, we have managed to charge a Samsung mobile phone.”

However they claim that this is the first time that scientists have been able to directly charge the battery of a device such as a mobile phone and it should be seen as a significant breakthrough.

We just hope the scientists washed their hands...

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