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Printed biofuel cell may benefit military


Narrator:       This is Science Today. Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego, are working to develop a printed biofuel cell that's commercially viable and would derive power from wastewater sources, including urine. Postdoctoral researcher Joshua Windmiller explains that the technology is designed to meet a need for mobile power devices, particularly those that soldiers carry with them into the battlefield, such as night vision goggles, GPS systems and two-way radios.

Windmiller:   The goal is within about one and a half liters of fuel: The soldier could power their devices for the period of one day and the device should last at the end of the project for a term of one week, which really represents the longest mission duration that a soldier would be deployed from their base camp. Eventually, this will be integrated into a working device that the soldier can just plug into power.

Narrator:       Windmiller explains that this technology could lighten the load of batteries that soldiers must carry with them on missions into remote areas. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.