Your pee isn’t just for writing your name anymore — it can power something much greater than a sense of temporary accomplishment.
Have you ever stopped to think about what it means to stand at a urinal and do what you typically do?
The chemicals in your urine can influence more than whether or not your significant other decides to stop serving asparagus. With the overcrowding of the planet, climate change and any number of other impending global disasters, designers have been looking inward for sources of power that don’t involve murdering the environment or adorable big-eyed animals. Specifically, they’ve been looking inside your bladder.
Urea is a compound that excretes nitrogen out of your body. And it releases electrons when it touches hydroxide ions. What does that mean?
You can extract the urea from people’s urine and use it to power the electricity to a bathroom. If you had enough urine, you could illuminate an entire building or a city. Think of a city powered entirely by urine. That could be the city you live in.
I applaud the ingenuity involved in harnessing pee power. Can you imagine the kind of brainpower required to look at a urinal and think, ‘This thing needs to get another job?’ Incredible.
The urinal was designed by Liu Yi, Yue-Bo Shen and Fang-Tian Ying from Zhejiang University in China for the Lite-On Awards. Lite-On was the first company to produce LEDs, eventually becoming an leader in design and technology, and a forerunner in the Asian tech market.
Simple in design, complex in function, economically viable and eminently practical in a time where we need ecological innovations, I hope this urinal power generator gets as much attention as it deserves.