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thc in urine

Turkish Scientists Generate Electricity from the Urine of Pot Smokers

How THC in urine could help the cannabis electrical problem

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DanaSmith on Friday Feb 1, 2019
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Turkish Scientists Generate Electricity from the Urine of Pot Smokers


thc in urine for electricity


If you need more reason to believe that cannabis can save the environment, here’s some news.


Turkish scientists were actually able to generate electricity from the urine of cannabis consumers. Yes, you read that right.


The study, which was published in Biosource Technology Reports, details how the scientists were able to isolate metabolites from cannabis from the urine of cannabis consumers – resulting in being able to generate enough electricity to power an entire household. The experiment entailed microbial fuel cells (MFC) , a type of bioelectrochemical tool that selects bacteria and bonds various chemical compounds in order to create electricity. They discovered that combining real and synthetic urine which contains THC metabolites in the instrument resulted in two effects: an elimination of 60% of the COOH-THC metabolite, and generating electricity simultaneously.


“Untreated urine samples pooled from drug-free male donors produced 0.35 V of peak electricity in the fuel cells,” write the researchers. “When the urine samples were replaced with those from the cannabis users (containing 170 ng/mL of COOH-THC), the maximum voltage of 0.23 V was achieved.”


The researchers also state that using the MFC to generate electricity while getting rid of 60% of metabolites was beneficial for both the environment and households. “The results showed that MFCs can be used for treatment of cannabis metabolites found in human urine to prevent contamination of natural ecosystems with these resilient and toxic metabolites,” they write. “Moreover, although in small levels, voltage generation provides an added-value that could be used to power certain applications in the treatment plants.”


This may seem like news, although the idea of generating electricity from urine isn’t a novel concept. MFCs can also be used to generate electricity from clean urine just by isolating hydrogen, cleansing them, then placing it in a generator.


Why Is This Important?


Cannabis has many environmental applications, but growing it without harming the environment through its energy consumption is still one thing that we need to master.


A 2014 report by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC), an agency involved in environment and energy planning for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, revealed that 38% of a cannabis grow facility’s electricity costs go to lighting, while 21% goes to air-conditioning. The rest goes to dehumidifying, CO2 injection, and other energy expenditures. The same report states that indoor grow-ops can guzzle as much as 4,000-6,000 kWh of energy for every kilogram of pot. Meanwhile, it’s estimated the the average American family consumes around just 911 kWh of electricity in a month. That’s a huge difference.


The electricity consumption required to run a grow house can be shocking when you compare it to residential or business use. In fact, indoor facilities use similar light intensities as operating rooms in hospitals, which are estimated to be 500 times more than the recommended reading light intensities.


“Like all forms of agriculture, marijuana cultivation has implications for natural resources that should be part of the current and future policy discussion,” explains a report compiled by scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the University of California Berkeley, and Nature Conservancy. “However, regulation designed to mitigate environmental harm is more difficult to implement for marijuana cultivation than for other agricultural activities because of its unique and evolving legal status. Although many US states are legalizing recreational and medical marijuana possession and use, it remains illegal at the federal level, putting the industry in a semi-legal gray area in these states. This status separates marijuana from fully legal agricultural commodities and greatly complicates regulation of the industry.”


In this regard, generating electricity from cannabis in urine may have the potential to offset the energy required to grow it. The link between the energy consumption of cannabis and its cultivation is becoming increasingly important as we address the pressing need to mitigate climate change. This is an issue that isn’t commonly seen on the agenda of the legislature, but it’s high time that we start confronting the realities that come with cannabis cultivation – as well as the clear solutions available.


One way to look at it is that legalizing cannabis would make it easier for people to grow them outdoors. Growers will no longer need to spend thousands in energy costs just to keep their grow facilities discreet, which is especially helpful if illegal grows can finally be done out in the open. Not only would the carbon footprint of cannabis growers be significantly reduced, but they have the potential to grow better quality cannabis naturally by using the sun’s rays.








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