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Pee-powered 'green' toilet to light up refugee camps.

Scientists in the UK have developed an innovative new plumbing technology that can convert urine into electricity, with the hopes that the system can be used to light up the dark corners of refugee camps in conflict zones.

The pioneering toilet is the result of collaboration between Global Aid Agency Oxfam and the University of the West of England in Bristol.

It uses live microbes which feed on urine and convert it into power.

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The test urinal is conveniently located near the University of the West of England's student bar, where the students produced enough electricity to power four led light bulbs in the cubicle.

The head developer for the project even theorized that the student's consumption of more spirited beverages will lead to more concentrated samples.

The scientists developed microbial fuel cells that use bacteria grown on carbon fiber anodes that feed on urine, breaking it down and generating electricity which is stored in a capacitor.

They used up to 24 of these microbial fuel cells in 2013 to prove that urine could produce enough electricity to power a mobile phone.

For the urine-powered toilet they are using has 288 fuel cells.

The head of water and sanitation at Oxfam said the toilet could vastly improve women's safety in deprived countries that often have poorly lit sanitation zones.

The organization hopes to have the first toilet sent out to a refugee camp within the next six months, and after testing will be rolled out more widely, initially in camps, but possibly also in other places without electricity.

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