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March 19 2013

Power From the People—How Brazil Turned Urine Into Electricity


It’s not quite as miraculous as turning water into wine, but turning urine into electricity is equally unexpected. Perhaps even more unexpected was the testing ground for this rather unusual concept: Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Due to a shortage of public restrooms, the festival’s revelers often resort to, um, relieving themselves in public. A press release from J. Walter Thompson Brazil notes that, “the stench is impregnated through the city for days,” and the situation is so bad that the city has invested heavily in an awareness campaign.

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