prof. dr. ir. Arne Verliefde
Scientists Create Solar-Powered Machine That Turns Urine Into Water
The idea of recycling our bodily waste into something more useful isn't new. In fact last year Bill Gates was part of an initiative that turned human waste into drinking water, a feat which he gladly demonstrated on video.
Now scientists at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering did something similar, except that they turned urine into drinkable water. To be more specific, the researchers at Ghent University created a set-up that was actually tested out at a 10-day music festival. From the waste that they have managed to collect, they have managed to turn it into 1,000 litres of drinkable water, which they then plan to use to brew some beer. How they managed to accomplish this is with the use of a membrane distillation that supposedly gets rid of 95% of all ammonia that is present in urine. The liquid is then collected in a tank, which in turn is heated using solar energy, meaning that this machine is probably as green as it gets in terms of being sustainable. The machine is also able to separate out the nutrients in the urine which can then be used to make fertilizers. While there are no plans to launch a brewing company that uses recycled urine for its beers, there are plans to create larger versions of this machine that can be installed in high traffic locations such as airports or sporting venues.