Problem Solved!: Turning Urine Into Hydrogen

July 8, 2009


Finally, I can sleep at night: scientists have discovered a way to turn urine into hydrogen. And you said I was crazy for collecting it in milk jugs!

From a group led by chemist Gerardine Botte of Ohio University comes a report (just published in the Royal Society of Chemistry's journal Chemical Communications) that hydrogen has been produced from urine.

According to a July 3, 2009 story on, "Urine's major constituent is urea, which incorporates four hydrogen atoms per molecule -- importantly, less tightly bonded than the hydrogen atoms in water molecules."

"Botte uses electrolysis to break the molecule apart, developing an inexpensive new nickel-based electrode to selectively and efficiently oxidise the urea. To break the molecule down, a voltage of 0.37V needs to be applied across the cell -- much less than the 1.23V needed to split water.

So, you know what this means, right? Wait for it....wait for it....the P-bomb. Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Make sure to tip your bartender and maybe steal a bottle for me when they're not looking. *tap tap* Haha, is this still on?

21st-century alchemy: Hydrogen from urine [bookofjoe]

Thanks to towhee, who pees in swimming pools.

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