Students Create Worlds First Bricks Made From Human Urine

first_imgMore on Geek.com:People Are Pooping MicroplasticsChina to Launch Artificial Moon to Replace Street LightsThis Plant Hormone Could Help Grow Potatoes in Space Looking for a sustainable construction material for building your next home? Urine luck! Students in South Africa have just the thing for you.Suzanne Lambert and Vukheta Mukhari have made a breakthrough with help from University of Cape Town (UCT) civil engineering professor Dr. Dyllon Randall. They figured out how to produce bio-bricks from human urine.Bacteria are added to a mixture of urine and sand. The bacteria go to work on the urine, breaking down urine, and producing calcium carbonate. Dr. Randall says that process is “not unlike how seashells are formed.”You know, apart from the bit where human urine is the starting point. Sea creatures are pretty happy about that.The strength of the bio-bricks can be controlled by tweaking the amount of time the bacteria are allowed to do their thing. “If a client wanted a brick stronger than a 40 percent limestone brick, you would allow the bacteria to make the solid stronger by ‘growing’ it for longer,” Dr. Randall said.Unlike standard bricks, these don’t ever need to be fired in a kiln. That drastically reduces their carbon footprint. They’re also zero-waste… technically even negative waste considering what the bricks are made from.As an added bonus, potassium and nitrogen are created as by-products of the brick-making process. Once they’re captured, they can be used to make fertilizer.This is just the latest in a string of pretty amazing scientific advances involving urine. Almost a decade ago, Gerardine Botte developed a urine-powered car. Four years early, scientists in Singapore created a urine battery for medical devices.A team of enterprising Belgians turned urine into beer. And let’s not forget about the time that Bill Gates drank a glass of processed human waste… for science!It truly is liquid gold. Stay on targetcenter_img San Diego to Build Charging Stations for 3,000 Electric Buses, TrucksHydrogen-Powered Plane Can Fly 20 Passengers Up to 500 Miles last_img

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