It doesn’t have quite the same appeal as the ability to turn water into wine, but scientists at a Belgian university have successfully turned urine into water.
The researchers recovered 1,000 litres of unconsumed H20 from festival goers’ pee. Now they are hoping to use it to brew Belgian beer.
The urine is collected in a tank and heated in a solar-powered boiler. It’s then passed through a membrane which removes 95% of all ammonia. Nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium can also be separated and used as fertilisers.
Engadget reported that the scientists aim to install the machines in airports and sports venues, as well as areas of the developing world in short supply of drinking water.
It’s not the only announcement this week that could have far-reaching consequences for the refinement of drinking water.
Engineers at Washington University in St Louis had found that the wonder material graphene could also make dirty water drinkable.
The process relies on the heat-conducting properties of graphene to assist with the evaporation of the water.
Srikanth Singamaneni, associate professor at Washington University, said: “We hope that for countries where there is ample sunlight, such as India, you’ll be able to take some dirty water, evaporate it using our material, and collect fresh water.”
Earlier this month, researchers at the University of West England revealed a toilet that could generate electricity from urine. They hope to install the devices in refugee camps.