Scientists at Belgium’s University of Ghent said they’ve created a machine that makes urine turn into a potable water, and fertilizer using solar energy.
“We call it from sewer to brewer,” said Sebastiaan Derese, researcher from the University of Ghent, told Reuters.
“We’re able to recover fertiliser and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy.” he added.
The machine used to collect urine in a big tank and then heated in a solar-powered boiler. As the heated water evaporates, it passes through a membrane, in which the H2O separates from nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen. Then those nutrients can be used to enrich fertilizers for plants. Then the water will be diverted into a separate tank.
The researchers hoped that it can be used to provide clean drinking water for people in developing countries since the system requires no electricity. The process could help in organizing agriculture in such a sustainable way in rural communities that is more susceptible to drought, according to Derese.
Also, the system could be used for commercial purposes to quickly purify water in order for a lot of people who uses bathroom a lot — like in sports stadiums, shopping malls and airports.
According to New York Daily News, scientists recently presented the machine in a 10-day music and theatre festival in central Ghent using the slogan #peeforscience.
The team had collected and recycled about 1,000 liters of water from urine from the event, and now they plan to use that water to brew even more of their signature “Brewer to Sewer” beer.