ATHENS, Ohio (NBC) -- Researchers at Ohio University are finding success in extracting energy from human urine, enough to power a model car and soon, entire buildings.
E3 Technologies, LLC, a firm based in Athens, is developing a "greenbox" that cleans waste water to produce hydrogen energy.
The devices look like a medium-sized appliance and can extract hydrogen from the urea found in human urine.
That hydrogen is then captured in battery-like fuel cells or returned as energy to the existing structure in a process they dubbed "pee power."
Dr. Gerardine Botte is leading the research team and feels the application of green boxes could pay immediate dividends for businesses in remote locations and wastewater treatment plants.
The power of this clean energy is enormous, she said. For example, if the urine from Ohio University's 24,000 students could be captured, the extracted hydrogen could power 60 campus buildings.