Pee powered cell phones – microbes and urine provide power at music festival


In the United Kingdom, pee powered electricity was a success at the recent Glastonbury music festival where toilets using microbial fuel cells and live microbes feed on urine for their growth were installed. The technology under the toilets and urinals convert the urine into power and were able to power cell phone charging stations at the music festival. With enough toilets to serve 40 people at one time, they collected about 1,000 liters of urine that was converted into energy.

The electricity producing toilets are also being installed in a Uganda school and the team hopes to use the toilets in disaster zones via aid agencies and refugee camps where electricity and basic hygiene are not always a given. As reported in June in NUU, France-based environmental firm, Fournisser Energie, is also working on getting the pee powered toilets to market, so there may be some competition growing among this new technology.