Urinal prototype uses fuel cells to generate steady stream of electricity

Human urine has been turned into all sorts of things over the centuries. Alchemists distilled phosphorous from it, it was once used for the production of gunpowder, tanners employed it in great vats to tan hides, and it has served as the basis of a myriad chemical substances, including the first types of plastics. Now yet another use for this ubiquitous liquid has been created. Researchers working at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have built a urinal that converts urine directly into electricity. Read More

Danish festival-goers donate urine to help make beer

Rather than collect and treat the copious amount of pee produced by beer-swigging live music lovers, the organizers of last week's Roskilde Festival and the Danish Agriculture & Food Council opted to put all that liquid gold to good use. A beercycling project dubbed "From piss to pilsner" invited attendees to leave deposits for local farmers to use as fertilizer for barley crops grown to make beer.Read More

Good Thinking

PPlanter public urinal processes pee using plants

If you live in a big city, then there are doubtless alleyways or alcoves you know of that always smell like pee. While it might help to install public urinals in these places, doing so involves a lot of work and expense. Porta Potties are one alternative, although Oakland, California-based Hyphae Design Laboratory has developed a more eco-friendly solution known as the PPlanter. It's a self-contained modular system, that uses bamboo to process the pee.Read More

When it comes to sink/urinal combos, the Tandem is Number 1

Ladies, I know this may come as a huge surprise to some of you, but ... a lot of guys don’t wash their hands after finishing their business in a public bathroom. It’s true. In order to give such characters less of an excuse for not washing after peeing, a Latvian company known as Stand is now offering a combination sink and urinal. Appropriately enough, it’s called the Tandem. Read More

Men's lavatory transformed into an underground cafe

We’re definitely fans of recycling here at Gizmag, but The Attendant is recycling in a way we've rarely seen – and might not want to see again. When London residents Pete Tomlinson and Ben Russell saw a "For Rent" sign outside a disused underground Victorian restroom, they were for some reason inspired to transform the space into a chic urban coffee shop.Read More


Gamers don't need to be a whiz to play new video game system

As any barkeep will tell you, the bar/pub industry is a very competitive one, with business owners taking every opportunity they can to attract clientele to their establishments. If the usual approaches such as cheap drinks aren't doing enough on their own, however, now there's something else that may help draw the customers in ... or at least, into the men's washroom. It's called Captive Media, and it consists of urinal-mounted video game systems, where men control the gameplay by changing the trajectory of their urine stream from side to side. Hey, whatever it takes to make your watering hole Number 1, right?Read More


Wee Target zeros-in on toilet training

January 3, 2007 Desperate parents resort to any number of incentives to encourage their kid to “use the potty”- special underpants, reward charts and for parents of boys, even floating toys in the toilet bowl for target practice! Inventor Joanna Haymes, a mother of three boys, took the latter idea further and developed the “Wee Target”. Inspired by heat sensitive ink on a packet of batteries and driven to help her boys aim in the right direction, she designed a “target”- a black circle made of heat sensitive ink which is fixed temporarily inside the toilet bowl. When the target is hit by urine, the circle fades and a surprise picture appears. Read More

Around The Home

Waterless urinal making a splash

May 17, 2007 It's not our favourite subject, but it has the potential of saving the average office building around 2.3 million litres of water each year. Caroma's H2Zero Cube Urinal is completely waterless, featuring an air-tight seal and deodorising cartridge to keep bathrooms smelling fresh without squandering water.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

The Urilift – the now you see it, now you don’t urinal

November 21, 2006 When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go – particularly when you’ve had a bellyful of alcohol. Given that using alcohol to great excess is a modern rite of passage and deeply rooted tradition of most societies, and that more of it gets consumed in nightlife districts, such precincts are often an ugly sight the next morning, with urine, vomit and the occasional sleeping body often found in public places. Most modern cities have developed a night time economy which is positive for a city. On the other hand, one of the top three concerns resulting from a lively night time economy is related to street urination. More public toilets might meet the needs of the nightlife but they’re an eyesore for the residents, so the latest in high tech toilets might be the ideal solution. In an effort to handle its night time public urination problem, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is considering installing urinals that disappear below street level during the day according to John Chow. The urinals are not new, having been introduced in Europe in 2000, but they are novel, disappearing during the day and popping out of the ground in the evening to meet the needs of the nocturnal. There are two variants of the now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t toilet, with and without privacy and a third which looks the same as the disappearing toilet but doesn’t disappear. Fortuitously, the Urilift is designed so that the punters can’t ride up and down in them or lock their friends inside for a laugh or anything other than just normal toilet business. Good idea though, as the design can also be used for regular temporary situations such as catering to the once-a-week needs of a crowded local market. Distributors can be found in all key Northern European markets but there’s an opportunity in almost all other areas - enquiries here.Read More


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