Scientists create wee-ly good Glastonbury festival toilets that generate electricity

 
Jessica Morris
Follow Jessica
Festival Goers Watch England World Cup Match At Glastonbury
They installed a test urinal at Glastonbury festival this year (Source: Getty)

It might have p*ssed down with rain at Glastonbury this year, but festival-goers can take comfort in the fact they helped further a potentially transformative project for the developing world.

Researchers over at the University of West England created a urinal which uses the bacteria found in wee to generate energy.

Read more: Civil servants are massive Glastonbury fans, as HM Revenue and Customs can expect £1.25m in VAT from the festival

They then installed a test version at Glastonbury festival, where it was used by thousands of people per day, and the electricity generated lit up the toilets' interior.

Fuel cells which, like batteries, have an anode and a cathode, are stored in a container than collects urine. As the bacteria inside it grows, this triggers a process which generates enough energy to power light bulbs or LED tubes.

Read more: Glastonbury festival gives Remain the fear

But the energy-efficient bogs' next stop is India of Africa, where some refugee camps, communities, schools' have public toilets that lack lighting.

"The ultimate purpose is to get electricity to light the toilets, and possibly also the outside area, in impoverished regions, which may help improve the safety of women and children, in countries where they have to use communal toilet facilities outside their homes," said Ioannis Ieropoulos, the director of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre, who led the study.

Related articles