The Power of Pee

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Often, my ideas for blog postings come from reputable journals such as JASN, CJASN, AJKD, Kidney International, NEJM, etc…

But today’s topic derives from my regular reading a website I simply can’t recommend highly enough…Geekologie. From the July 8th posting, there comes a report that chemists from Ohio University led by Geraldine Botte have succeeded in harnessing the power of urine to drive a hydrogen fuel cell, as recently described in an issue of the Chemical Communications.

Briefly, the authors describe the development of a nickel-based electrode that is able to oxidize ammonia into both nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas, the latter of which could be used to power hydrogen cells. The ammonia is easily derived from urea, the major component of urine. The urine-powered hydrogen car? Don’t lose hope.

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