Urine-tricity Phase III: Electricity from Urine

Urine-tricity Phase III


Worldwide there are over 2.5 billion people without access to safe sanitation. In attempt to address this need The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are funding research on the next generation of sanitation technologies. The Bristol BioEnergy Centre (BBiC) is now in Phase III of 'Urine-tricity: electricity from urine'.

Project Aim

Urine-tricity Phase I successfully demonstrated the charging of a commercially available mobile phone, using Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) fed with urine. Urine-tricity Phase II took the development of MFCs further towards a mature sustainable wastewater treatment and energy generation technology.

With continued funding from the Gates Foundation, Urine-tricity is now in Phase III. During this phase we are continuing our lab research into MFCs, moving the technology towards commercialisation and setting up longer-term field trials in developing country locations.

Project Goal

Urine-tricity Phase IIIThe Urine-tricity team is working with the Gates Foundation, Oxfam and global partners to exploit MFC technology to provide lighting and water treatment for areas of the world that are lacking in sanitation infrastructure and reliable electricity access, and eventually for all markets. In addition to ongoing research at our laboratories in the BRL at UWE, Phase III will see Pee Power® systems being piloted for the first time in developing countries. The field trials will provide valuable data on the long-term performance of MFCs in challenging environments, while benefiting the local users with improved sanitation and electricity supply.

Latest News

The first Pee Power® field trial was installed at a girls’ secondary school in western Uganda in July 2017. It is lighting up the toilet block for the students to use at night time. For more details, please view UWE's Official Press Release.

The Pee Power® system has already been tested successfully on campus at UWE and at Glastonbury festival in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This video explains more about the urinal at UWE and why the technology has been recognised by Oxfam for its great potential in challenging environments such as refugee camps.

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Theme Leader

Team Members

Contact Address

Bristol BioEnergy Centre
Bristol Robotics Laboratory
University of the West of England
Coldharbour Lane
Bristol, BS16 1QY

Page last updated 9 October 2017