Science Invents a Way to Power Cars With Your Pee

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believer258:
I've got a different question:

First off is, how will men fill this sucker up on those cold snowy frozen winter mornings?

Second, how are women going to fill this thing up in the first place? It's kind of a sexist car, isn't it?

Third, won't the exhaust smell? I don't want to ride around in a place that smells strongly of piss.

Fourth, what if you get a boner while your tallywhacker is in the pissing hole? Generally, that won't happen, but what if it becomes a common joke amongst women to find a fellow who's filling up and does something in front of him to get him hard?

well, im sure the intake can be adjusted for these factors. and also, is the smell of burning gas that much better? not to mention the piss isnt directly used in the process, just its hydrogen, so im sure cars equipped for this would have a used piss collection tank, in addition to the gas tank. and ya just gotta dump it in a sewer or some shit when it fills

Realitycrash:
Too bad hydrogen is rather shit when it comes to powering engines, compared to..You know..Gasoline?

But dude... piss is free

Tulks:
[quote="ssManae" post="7.270635.10403997"]
I actually wasn't thinking of using the power from the cell to produce more fuel. My question was more, wouldn't it be more efficient to not produce the hydrogen, and just run the car electrically?

I had forgotten about recouping energy through regenerative braking, though.

The problem with straight electricity is, well, batteries are heavy. That's why fuel cells were so widely heralded. You can run an electric engine, and the fuel cell and hydrogen storage are lighter.

Also, filling up a hydrogen tank is much faster than charging a battery. The dirty little secret of electric at the moment is that you need to charge them for about an hour for each hour of driving. There are some systems planned for faster charging, but the chances of those being deemed safe enough to be curb-side chargers is pretty slim.

-Zen-:
An automotive device powered by liquid human waster product?
image

lol

Importantly, the catalysts are converting the urea. Theres urea in your pee, but not enough to drive very far.

Just stick a catheter in and roll on.
The military could have pee-powered tanks and helicopters.

Sounds like a smart idea and we will actually have a useful purpose for urine now.

Now let's actually get this idea into reality instead of talking about it and then never getting it outside of the lab and keeping the United States under the thumb of the gas and oil company for another generation.

my god... this seems incredibly simple O.o
WHY have we not discovered this already?! we should be using this in waste treatment facilities! we could power an entire town with our own piss!

And its banned world wide for "health" reasons so oil stays dominant fuel source... You win this round corporations but WE SHALL RETURN!

Well damn, soon I can't yell at hobos who urinate on my car. I guess i'll have to shake their hand... or just give them a thumbs-up.

ReturnPostage:
Is this site about video games?

Yep, but this development could prove extra-useful for those who refuse to leave their PC...
*predicts the pee-powered PC*

Racecarlock:
I think it's safe to say that whoever came up with this is a real whiz.

Ba dump tish.

Bwahahahahah!

Ah, delicious.

Now we just need to find uses like this for hair, nail clippings, and skin flakes.

Well, it's about time we get something from our waste! The problem is that the gasoline companies will find a way to stop this.

i don't envy the techs that have to work at those conversion plants if this becomes a reality XD

008Zulu:
Writing our names in the snow or making lemon snow cones for our friends will no longer be time honoured traditions. I wonder how much beer you will need to drink to fill your tank?

Quite a lot. Beer will increase the H2O volume of your urine however it is urea (the yellow bit) that is generating the power. This is created from breaking down amino acids found in proteins. Bottom line: drinking beer doesn't help, you need to eat a steak dinner.

Grahav:

gigastar:
Well, that kinda takes the piss.

...Sorry.

Anyway it has good potential.

If only we could do something about the turds.

Well, sewer shit after passing through sewage station treatent can be used as manure (although, people prefer cow crap for some reason...) also it can produce methane.

Nowadays, almost only the science news are capable of producing hope in me. Keep them coming.

Didn't top gear also test if a car could run on turds? from what I remember the turd-mobile was only slightly less effective, then the gasoline fuelled car.

Thats cool and everything and very impressive.. but wont the busy roads just STINK of piss all the time?

ReturnPostage:
Is this site about video games?

Not just video games, its mainly videogames with general pop culture added on like movies and stuff.

Quazimofo:

Realitycrash:
Too bad hydrogen is rather shit when it comes to powering engines, compared to..You know..Gasoline?

yeah but we dont have an efficient method of creating more raw petroleum, so make do with what you have ya know? and we make piss tons of..... well piss daily, so im sure quantity can make up for quality until tech develops to allow hydrogen to be closer to gas's efficiency.

i think a stalin quote fits here nicely (no im not a communist, my european history teacher is, so i hear this shit). but back to the quote
"quantity is a quality all its own"

Yeah, piss might be free, but electrolysis sure isn't. It still takes a huge amount of effort to make hydrogen out of pee, and even if the raw component is "free" (like water, for instance. I'm guessing it's more effective to make hydrogen out of piss than water. Did you know that the first car-engine was based on hydrogen distilled from water? No? Well that's because the major petrol-corporations bought up the patents and then shut down the research and production), it's still isn't free to produce, nor is it very effective. One of the main reasons petrol > water or electricity is that is is simply more "bang for the buck".
More of petrol's effectiveness goes towards actually driving the engine, instead of being just "wasted energy" in form of excess energy like heat and sound. And oh, even tho electric cars in some cases are more effective, it takes a shitload bigger storage-capacity in the form of a battery than it takes for the same amount of efficiency when it comes to a fuel-tank.
True, this will probably change, if we ever put some research-money into more effective batteries, or tanks that can hold hydrogen, so all and all I'm glad they are researching it.

Just don't think that it will be any major change soon. Not before the oil runs out.

I find it very disturbing that you had to clarify for your audience that "electrode" wasn't a pokemon in this case.

ReturnPostage:
Is this site about video games?

it's for gamers to come together, and a good amount is about video games, but we talk about other things. games are interesting, but it's not the only thing interesting or important in this world. games is just a connection of all of us. what we talk about is up to us.

Racecarlock:
I think it's safe to say that whoever came up with this is a real whiz.

Ba dump tish.

Oh, boo! Bad pun/joke. >:)
That's almost as bad as the joke that Gilbert Goddfried made about the tsunami.

On topic: That is interesting...in its on way.

In unrelated news, the number of incidents of fuel siphoning have gone down to 0...

i'm curious about the science of this-would urine that had drug or alcohol traces in it be unusable? does there need to be a certain water content for it to work, or is there one that gets better mileage? i love this idea 100%, but how do girls refuel? so many questions...i need a scientist!

ReturnPostage:
Is this site about video games?

In theory, yes. In practice, we like anything involving nerd culture and science (and on occaision, current events).

Realitycrash:

Quazimofo:

Realitycrash:
Too bad hydrogen is rather shit when it comes to powering engines, compared to..You know..Gasoline?

yeah but we dont have an efficient method of creating more raw petroleum, so make do with what you have ya know? and we make piss tons of..... well piss daily, so im sure quantity can make up for quality until tech develops to allow hydrogen to be closer to gas's efficiency.

i think a stalin quote fits here nicely (no im not a communist, my european history teacher is, so i hear this shit). but back to the quote
"quantity is a quality all its own"

Yeah, piss might be free, but electrolysis sure isn't. It still takes a huge amount of effort to make hydrogen out of pee, and even if the raw component is "free" (like water, for instance. I'm guessing it's more effective to make hydrogen out of piss than water. Did you know that the first car-engine was based on hydrogen distilled from water? No? Well that's because the major petrol-corporations bought up the patents and then shut down the research and production), it's still isn't free to produce, nor is it very effective. One of the main reasons petrol > water or electricity is that is is simply more "bang for the buck".
More of petrol's effectiveness goes towards actually driving the engine, instead of being just "wasted energy" in form of excess energy like heat and sound. And oh, even tho electric cars in some cases are more effective, it takes a shitload bigger storage-capacity in the form of a battery than it takes for the same amount of efficiency when it comes to a fuel-tank.
True, this will probably change, if we ever put some research-money into more effective batteries, or tanks that can hold hydrogen, so all and all I'm glad they are researching it.

Just don't think that it will be any major change soon. Not before the oil runs out.

You summed up what I wanted to add, for the most part. It's nice to see that people aren't defending oil. Whenever I talk about how we have already reached "peak oil", people just say, "Oh... but we have alternative sources when it goes away."

I don't think we do. None of the alternative fuel sources that have been proposed can replace oil. Hell, most of them need the infrastructure that oil provides to even produce them! If we like the way the world works now, we need to use the oil we have to prepare for when we don't have it. Starting NOW and without mercy for towards the oil industry regardless of how much they are willing to pay out to stop us.

Jonabob87:
This is OLD AS HELL.

I saw this on tomorrows world like 8 years ago.

Technologies like these either never get picked up by someone with the money and power to put it to use, or it DOES get picked up but gets shelved so it cannot destroy the global oil market.

Realitycrash:

Quazimofo:

Realitycrash:
Too bad hydrogen is rather shit when it comes to powering engines, compared to..You know..Gasoline?

yeah but we dont have an efficient method of creating more raw petroleum, so make do with what you have ya know? and we make piss tons of..... well piss daily, so im sure quantity can make up for quality until tech develops to allow hydrogen to be closer to gas's efficiency.

i think a stalin quote fits here nicely (no im not a communist, my european history teacher is, so i hear this shit). but back to the quote
"quantity is a quality all its own"

Yeah, piss might be free, but electrolysis sure isn't. It still takes a huge amount of effort to make hydrogen out of pee, and even if the raw component is "free" (like water, for instance. I'm guessing it's more effective to make hydrogen out of piss than water. Did you know that the first car-engine was based on hydrogen distilled from water? No? Well that's because the major petrol-corporations bought up the patents and then shut down the research and production), it's still isn't free to produce, nor is it very effective. One of the main reasons petrol > water or electricity is that is is simply more "bang for the buck".
More of petrol's effectiveness goes towards actually driving the engine, instead of being just "wasted energy" in form of excess energy like heat and sound. And oh, even tho electric cars in some cases are more effective, it takes a shitload bigger storage-capacity in the form of a battery than it takes for the same amount of efficiency when it comes to a fuel-tank.
True, this will probably change, if we ever put some research-money into more effective batteries, or tanks that can hold hydrogen, so all and all I'm glad they are researching it.

Just don't think that it will be any major change soon. Not before the oil runs out.

well yeah of course, oil is making too much money and it still serves our purposes for the moment, so until it gets to a situation near that of fallout, no major change will happen. there's no real debate here, we both just saying hydrogen MAY be the next big thing, since it isn't too far fetched.
really, all i hope is decent tech can come out to prevent the nuclear war of fallout scale before the oil gets that low, and im glad we are taking good steps in the right direction.

Quazimofo:

Realitycrash:

Quazimofo:

yeah but we dont have an efficient method of creating more raw petroleum, so make do with what you have ya know? and we make piss tons of..... well piss daily, so im sure quantity can make up for quality until tech develops to allow hydrogen to be closer to gas's efficiency.

i think a stalin quote fits here nicely (no im not a communist, my european history teacher is, so i hear this shit). but back to the quote
"quantity is a quality all its own"

Yeah, piss might be free, but electrolysis sure isn't. It still takes a huge amount of effort to make hydrogen out of pee, and even if the raw component is "free" (like water, for instance. I'm guessing it's more effective to make hydrogen out of piss than water. Did you know that the first car-engine was based on hydrogen distilled from water? No? Well that's because the major petrol-corporations bought up the patents and then shut down the research and production), it's still isn't free to produce, nor is it very effective. One of the main reasons petrol > water or electricity is that is is simply more "bang for the buck".
More of petrol's effectiveness goes towards actually driving the engine, instead of being just "wasted energy" in form of excess energy like heat and sound. And oh, even tho electric cars in some cases are more effective, it takes a shitload bigger storage-capacity in the form of a battery than it takes for the same amount of efficiency when it comes to a fuel-tank.
True, this will probably change, if we ever put some research-money into more effective batteries, or tanks that can hold hydrogen, so all and all I'm glad they are researching it.

Just don't think that it will be any major change soon. Not before the oil runs out.

well yeah of course, oil is making too much money and it still serves our purposes for the moment, so until it gets to a situation near that of fallout, no major change will happen. there's no real debate here, we both just saying hydrogen MAY be the next big thing, since it isn't too far fetched.
really, all i hope is decent tech can come out to prevent the nuclear war of fallout scale before the oil gets that low, and im glad we are taking good steps in the right direction.

Honestly, I'd rather we dump our money researching cold fusion. But hey, hydrogen still might work.

Phishfood:

008Zulu:
Writing our names in the snow or making lemon snow cones for our friends will no longer be time honoured traditions. I wonder how much beer you will need to drink to fill your tank?

Quite a lot. Beer will increase the H2O volume of your urine however it is urea (the yellow bit) that is generating the power. This is created from breaking down amino acids found in proteins. Bottom line: drinking beer doesn't help, you need to eat a steak dinner.

Unless they invent a steak-based beer. Japan probably already has it.

Realitycrash:

Quazimofo:

Realitycrash:

Yeah, piss might be free, but electrolysis sure isn't. It still takes a huge amount of effort to make hydrogen out of pee, and even if the raw component is "free" (like water, for instance. I'm guessing it's more effective to make hydrogen out of piss than water. Did you know that the first car-engine was based on hydrogen distilled from water? No? Well that's because the major petrol-corporations bought up the patents and then shut down the research and production), it's still isn't free to produce, nor is it very effective. One of the main reasons petrol > water or electricity is that is is simply more "bang for the buck".
More of petrol's effectiveness goes towards actually driving the engine, instead of being just "wasted energy" in form of excess energy like heat and sound. And oh, even tho electric cars in some cases are more effective, it takes a shitload bigger storage-capacity in the form of a battery than it takes for the same amount of efficiency when it comes to a fuel-tank.
True, this will probably change, if we ever put some research-money into more effective batteries, or tanks that can hold hydrogen, so all and all I'm glad they are researching it.

Just don't think that it will be any major change soon. Not before the oil runs out.

well yeah of course, oil is making too much money and it still serves our purposes for the moment, so until it gets to a situation near that of fallout, no major change will happen. there's no real debate here, we both just saying hydrogen MAY be the next big thing, since it isn't too far fetched.
really, all i hope is decent tech can come out to prevent the nuclear war of fallout scale before the oil gets that low, and im glad we are taking good steps in the right direction.

Honestly, I'd rather we dump our money researching cold fusion. But hey, hydrogen still might work.

its good to have options

008Zulu:

Unless they invent a steak-based beer. Japan probably already has it.

I'd buy it :D

Hey water company? how about you pay me to flush.

Tulks:

ssManae:

Tulks:
This leads me to ask, how does the power output of an H-cell compare to the electricity required to fill it?

Ah, but you're looking at it the wrong way. You won't run hydrogen through a fuel cell to produce electricity to harvest hydrogen from the urine. Even if it was somehow net effective in production, you wouldn't have a lot left over for running the motors. Or the through-put would exhaust both your tanks real quick, either or.

But, say you do what a lot of hybrids already do: run the motors as generators to supply braking force. Instead of charging a battery, get some hydrogen from the storage tank.

I do wonder how many miles could be added per fill-up with such a method. That, and what exactly you would do with all the ammonia and other contaminates in the urine.

EDIT: Also, while it is true that the power density of hydrogen is laughably low compared to gasoline (as is just about any power density...) there is research under way on methods to vastly increase storage capacity of hydrogen without using high-pressure tanks.

I actually wasn't thinking of using the power from the cell to produce more fuel. My question was more, wouldn't it be more efficient to not produce the hydrogen, and just run the car electrically?

I had forgotten about recouping energy through regenerative braking, though.

This has already been answered I think, but the problem there is with batteries.

One of the most impressive electric cars at the moment is the Tesla Roadster.

But while that has a range of 211 miles (officially), the battery weighs 500 kg (1100 pounds or so), which is 1/3 the weight of the entire car.
Recharging the battery to full capacity also takes 16 hours. (though specialised charging equipment can get the latest model down to 3.5 hours apparently, from standard 240 volt system, though it does need 70 amps of current to do so. The older model had a 'quickcharge' system that required having access to 3 phase 415 volt industrial power supplies.)

Of course, the charging issue could be overcome with some infrastructure and standardisation, since if it were designed right, it'd be plausible to swap out the entire battery. (The Tesla S is apparently designed to make it possible to replace the battery in about 5 minutes. But that won't matter much if you can't get hold of a charged replacement easily.)

The real problem here is energy density.

By weight, the best batteries we currently have have about 1/100th the energy density of Gasoline.

That's somewhat counteracted by a gasoline engine being only around 35% efficient, while an electric motor is easily 90%+ efficiency.

But that still means, weight for weight, gas will get you 30 times the distance of a battery.
(With the added complication that you can't 'refuel' a battery)

Hydrogen presents a similar problem. We don't have the ability to store enough hydrogen in a small enough volume to come anywhere near the energy density of petrol. Especially not in a way that's actually safe.

And the options for using hydrogen as a fuel are using it in a fuel cell to generate electricity (then using that to power an electric motor), or using it in an engine closer in design to an internal combustion engine. (Which is less efficient than the electric motor, but might still be more effective than the combination of a fuel cell & electric motor).

All in all it's a tricky problem. Though personally, the solution to either one has effect beyond cars.

I mean, think about it; If batteries were as effective as petrol for storing energy, a laptop computer could run for 300 hours on the size of battery they currently make use of...
That's 2 weeks or so.
(Granted, the charging time afterward would probably be a nightmare, but that's a secondary problem.)

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