OK, so there appear to be a bunch of confused people, so just to clear up some points:
We must remember that urine has large amounts of ammonia in it.
No, it doesn't. Ammonia is one of the common chemical or bacterial breakdown products of the nitrogenous compounds in urine (and in fact breakdown of many animal and plant products), but natively urine contains no ammonia.
Ammonia is also flammable.
No, it's not. Although there is technically an exothermic reaction when you burn ammonia, the temperature of that reaction (i.e. flame temperature) is lower than the ignition temperature of ammonia. So it doesn't count as flammable because attempting to light it isn't self sustaining.
In the presence of a catalyst such as platinum gauze, it will flame but it doesn't count as flammable by itself.
Now if they were chemically or bacterially breaking down urine and other bodily wastes (hrm, not to put too fine a point on it but urine isn't the best source) into methane gas and igniting that then they'd have something. That's a technique used in many places in the world, including the third world. In fact it's not uncommon to find a sewage treatment plan that runs entirely off the energy it generates from gases it produces from the waste it treats, and furthermore feeds excess energy into the grid.
But that's not what's happening here. What the claim is in the article is that they are electrolysing urine to produce a gas that's fed into a compressor
to then feed an engine
which powers a generator. The net energy output from that is bound to be negative.
You could power an engine
from the methane gas produced by chemical breakdown of urine, but 1L of urine wouldn't produce a significant amount of methane and hence wouldn't power the generator for very long. Typically waste-gas generators run from hundreds or thousands of tonnes of human or animal waste.
Now, most people know electrolysis produces Browns Gas.
Actually, no, most people don't know that, because it's nonsense science. "Brown's Gas" is a pseudo-science name for a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases can be produced separately from electrolysis depending on the liquid you're electrolysing, but in general electrolysis doesn't produce anything known as "Browns Gas".
If you see those ads for devices that you fit to your engine that break down fresh water
into "HHO" or "new forms of water" or other such nonsense compounds, well really all they do is use electrolysis to break down water into Hydrogen and Oxygen, recombine it and feed it into your engine. The net energy used to break down the water is in theory exactly equal to the net energy released in recombining the two, because of conservation of energy, but in fact in a not-perfect system there will be some energy leakage and in fact it doesn't gain you fuel efficiency but it costs you fuel efficiency (because the extra energy used by your alternator
to generate the electricity to electrolyse the water is less than the energy you get back by recombining it in your engine).
It's analogous to the process being described in the article. If you break down water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then recombine it into water (which happens in the engine) then in theory the energy gained is exactly equal to the energy used. In practice the energy gained is less than the energy used because of inefficiencies in the system (show me a 100% efficient light bulb).
In early welding devices (19th C) it was common to use a mixture of Hydrogen and Oxygen to weld, however storage
and use of the combination is highly unsafe. Modern techniques have switched us to acetylene and other gases instead, which produces much the same result but is safer.
What is really strange is if you research the operation of the ammonia refrigeration cycle, hydrogen is used in the process for the continuous loop (bonding-return side).
Umm, yeah, but that's a completely different process -- physical (condensation and evaporation of gases) rather than chemical.
So, before you totally discount the system, you may want to give it a break, unless your a PhD in chemistry.
Not a PhD but I do have a science degree.