South Africans cre­ate bricks us­ing hu­man urine

The Korea Times - - SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY -

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) — South African re­searchers say they have made bricks us­ing hu­man urine in a nat­u­ral process in­volv­ing colonies of bac­te­ria, which could one day help re­duce global warm­ing emis­sions by find­ing a pro­duc­tive use for the ul­ti­mate waste prod­uct.

The grey bricks are pro­duced in a lab over eight days us­ing urine, cal­cium, sand and bac­te­ria. Fer­til­iz­ers are also pro­duced dur­ing the pro­cesses. And no, the bricks do not smell.

The bricks are made us­ing urea — a chem­i­cal found nat­u­rally in urine and also syn­the­sized around the world to make fer­til­izer. The process of grow­ing bricks from urea has been tested in the United States with syn­thetic so­lu­tions, but the new brick uses real hu­man urine for the first time, the re­searchers said.

“We lit­er­ally pee this away ev­ery day and flush it through the sewer net­works,” said Dyl­lon Ran­dall, a se­nior lec­turer at the Univer­sity of Cape Town’s civil en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment who is part of the team that de­vel­oped the brick. “Why not re­cover this in­stead and make mul­ti­ple prod­ucts?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Korea, Republic

© PressReader. All rights reserved.