Pee Power

We are in no way obsessed here at Gadling with the scatological. Obsessed is far too strong a
word. But yes, over time we have alerted you to several pee-related things. That’s our job. We take it

For example, you might remember a filter review that
offered the more daring adventurers among us the opportunities to drink your own urine, although by no means did we
recommend that. Why would we do that? That’s disgusting. Then there was
this primer on how to pee whiile paddling…an exercise we
call peedling. And of course who could forget this game
that allowed you to spell your own name in the snow with, you guessed it, pee. I invented my own font. This one was
particularly popular among women who, it is sad to say, have never had the real opportunity to do this in the
wild.  And finally, there was this pee color chart
that helps you determine whether you are dehydrated. Very useful, no?

Well, let’s move on now to things more practical, shall we? What would you say if I told you that your pee could be
used to power your flashlight? Or your ipod? You’d probably say, Erik, please stop being so pee-dantic. (Ha!…ahem).
Well, this article in National
Geographic explains that
scientists are developing a new kind of battery that, indeed, runs on urine. The battery consists of a piece of paper
soaked in a solution of copper chloride and sandwiched between strips of magnesium and copper. This sandwich is
laminated between two sheets of transparent plastic, and when a drop of urine is added to the paper through a slit in
the plastic, a chemical reaction takes place that produces electricity. Right now, the prototype battery puts out about
1.5 volts, about the same as a AA, and runs for about 90 minutes. Pretty sweet.

It is still a long way from a pee and play ipod, but we all know that major technological advances happen in baby
steps. Baby steps.