Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/06/piss_cars/
Boffin predicts pee-powered cars
Wee are not taking the piss
Leccy Tech Forget chicken-powered cars - a researcher has discovered that the key to hydrogen-powered transportation lies in taking the piss - quite literally.
Dr Gerardine Botte, an Associate Professor from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department at Ohio University, has discovered that hydrogen can be extracted from urine through electrolysis at a fraction of the cost of producing hydrogen from water.
No, Botte isn't taking the proverbial. Her research revealed that because hydrogen atoms in urea molecules aren’t as strongly bonded as they are in water molecules, significantly less energy is required to free them from kidney juice.
Although initial stages of the research used synthetic urine made from dissolved urea, the process, Botte claimed, works just as well with real human wee.
“It took us some time to get clearance to work with human urine - which held up publication of the research,” Botte told the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Presumably, then, there’s more to the process than just handing a beaker to a lab assistant and looking the other way.
Of course, not everyone will be comfortable with pointing their hampton at the fuel tank of their Honda Clarity, but as the old saying goes: hydrogenii non olet... (with apologies to the Emperor Vespasian) ®