Bill Gates helps to fund project for powering cellphones with urine

While Microsoft chairman Bill Gates may still be helping the company look for a new CEO, his charitable organization continues its work to support efforts to fight diseases in third world countries. This week, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it had awarded a number of grants to projects that aim to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in those parts of the world.

The group's press release said that one of grants will be sent over to a UK team at the University of the West of England in Bristol. This group is working on a plan to make microbial fuel cells that can be powered by urine. The press release states, "The electricity generated can be used to power sanitation of the waste, and even to charge a cell phone."

A previous announcement from the university offers more information on the research team's project. Basically, these microbes absorb the urine and their metabolism turns that organic matter into electricity. While the amount of power generated by this method is still very low, the team hopes that it can be improved so that it can power more products for a longer length of time.

Besides the microbial fuel cells project, the Gates Foundation also awarded grants to a team in China that's making a waterless toilet and a group from Rice University in the U.S. that is developing a solar steam sterilizer that can turn human waste into a biofuel.

Source: Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation | Image via Microsoft

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While we can make jokes all we want, its innovative, "out of the box" thinking that will ultimately save our little rock we live on.

Keep at it Bill, we need you more than you know.

Logically this little rock is unsavable as we cannot avoid entropy but as far as maintaining a human habitable environment as long as possible, the only thing that will do that is strict population control. Most of these things increase population survivability and expansion.

Your second link goes to the same team mentioned in the article. I would imagine Bill's funding is more focused on actually getting these ideas out of the lab and into the market.

Want to save electricity.... desperately want to charge up your phone for free... well come on down to our daily Golden shower parties events hosted every 2 hours!

HEY, IPHONE OWNERS: If you've already waterproofed your phone by upgrading to iOS 7, you can also recharge it by ****ing on it. Try it...for realz this time...

Waste of money - and a ploy for media. I appreciate all that Bill does, but he's practically wasting his money. He has enough capital to make a REAL and impacting change to our world.

He should work towards building a self-sufficient and self-sustaining city. Look to the "natural law" resource-based economy.

kikokazuma said,
Waste of money - and a ploy for media. I appreciate all that Bill does, but he's practically wasting his money. He has enough capital to make a REAL and impacting change to our world.

He should work towards building a self-sufficient and self-sustaining city. Look to the "natural law" resource-based economy.

I hope that you don't mean to imply that Bill Gates doesn't effect real changes that impact this world.

How about making a mobile phone case out of solar panels that constantly charges the battery?

Or, a phone powered from a small slice of uranium?

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