Winter has come and socks have become indispensable and with the cold weather scientists have come up with a practical idea – new socks work on pee power.
- ‘Urine’ socks will power a wireless transmitter
- Pee has been used before to generate electricity
- The socks come with fish pee already incorporated
Socks are definitely among one of the most used items of clothing. This is probably why a team of UK researchers thought socks are the best fit for their experiment. The experiment consists of using pee to generate electricity.
This isn’t the first time urine was considered to be a good power generator. However, so far an electric pump was used to produce pressure and the process was not very efficient. But if the pressure will now be generated by the wearer’s foot it means no electricity is used, but only created. In other words, you have nothing to lose.
In their experiments, the scientists tried and succeeded in using this ‘urine’ socks to power a wireless transmitter. The transmitter broadcasts a message every two minutes. This would be a device of great help for people who get lost. In this way they would make it easier for their searchers to find them. If scientists manage to really make this socks work and commercialize them, they could be used in rescuing missions, for example.
Here are some few details about how the socks work. They can store up to 22 ounces of urine, although it is not clear yet what size the socks should be to hold that quantity. The technology they work on is called MFC (microbial fuel technology). The socks are pre-filled with pee, so you’re not going to be the one to fill them up. We will not get in touch with the urine, only with the socks. The pressure created by your feet when you’re walking or running or dancing will force the urine through the tubes which will make it produce electricity.
In the experiment, the researchers used fish urine. Of course, they are probably looking for a way in which the socks can become entirely self-sufficient. This means the wearer will not only pump the liquid but also provide the liquid which is quite similar with the system used in Frank Herbert’s Dune to help the characters survive the desert. However, they did not create electricity, but recycled their body fluids into water.
All in all, getting closer to a science-fiction book is still a great step forward in technology. Hopefully, we will be able to soon use this type of socks that will help us get tracked more easily in case we get lost in the woods for example.
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