Pee energy could be the festival future of sustainability
Pee energy, clean energy; enter sustainability.
Everyone can agree that festival porta-potties are the foulest part of any festival experience.
With thousands of partying attendees making use of them, it literally becomes a shit-show of stench, sogginess and vile surprises.
Unfortunately us humans will always need to, in plain terms, use the loo. (Much to our dismay.) I have for many years wished to get rid of my bladder- I am told that it would not be so wise.
But what if our lavatory movements could improve the environment? Enter Fournisser Energie.
They are a French environmental firm who are pioneering a way to convert urine into electricity. This could in turn transform the pet-peeve act of peeing at festivals into a way in which all attendees can contribute towards decreasing the carbon foot-print of the parties they attend.
How it works
Fournisser Energie uses living microbes that consume every-day urine.
These microbial cells are housed in ‘bacteria batteries,’ which in turn capture the electrical output exerted by the growing microbes- like watering plants.
Essentially you pee onto these ‘batteries’ which feeds the microbes inside, resulting in an output of electricity- a few watts per cell.
This might seem dismal but collectively you can generate enough electricity to power signs, the toilets themselves and even recharge cellphones.
This can bring the carbon footprint to zero, with zero effort from our side.
A recent study published in Plos One also reveals that urinating on microbial cells not only reduces waste, but also eliminates the diseases that accompany it including typhoid, polio, meningitis, Hepatitis A and E and diarrhea.
If you think of how many thousands of people attend big festivals, with each person generating an average of 1.5 litres of urine over the course of the festival, you can generate enough electricity to self-power an entire event.
Pee energy could rid us of the stinky stigma behind urinating at festivals.