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#PeeForScience: Solar-Powered Device Can Turn Urine Into Beer

Jul 29, 2016 09:05 AM EDT

Scientists from Belgium took recycling to the next level and invented a solar-powered device that can turn urine into beer.

The process begins with turning urine into potable water and fertilizer with the help of solar energy. Scientists at the University of Ghent said they have also managed to produce Belgian ale from the recycled water. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," researcher Sebastiaan Derese said in an interview with Reuters.

Urine is collected in a tank and by using the solar-powered device created by the scientists they were able to use the broiler to recover water and nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. The nutrients can also be separated using the device. The recycled water can then be turned into ale or beer.

The team also uses a fitting slogan #peeforscience. The creators wanted to deploy bigger machines in sports events in the hope of recovering more urine for processing.

"We call it from sewer to brewer," Sebastian Derese said in a statement. 'Were able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," Derese added. This is another way of using the solar energy to recycle the most unlikely of wastes and turn it into potable water and even enjoyable beverage such as beer.

The researchers see a lot of potential with their solar-powered device, not only it can turn urine into beer and retrieve materials for fertilizers, the device can also provide potable water to developing countries and may also be a viable solution to other climate change problems such as drought.

The team set up a tank in a 10-day music and theater festival and they were able to retrieve 1,000 liters of recycled water from the event. And they are hoping to roll out more of this device in rural areas.


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