A new solar-powered machine developed by Belgian scientists turns urine into beer, but could also be used to recycle waste into fresh water in areas of need.
Ghent University researchers created this system with developing nations in mind, particularly: sunny locations with plenty of solar access but limited fresh water and located off the grid.
Urine is collected in a tank, heated and cleaned, filtering out nutrients to be used as fertilizer – a ‘whole buffalo’ approach that reuses each aspect of what would ordinarily get flushed and forgotten.
At a public event, the group debuted the system and gathered 1,000 liters pee from festival attendees. Naturally, they then brewed the resulting contributions for redistribution as beer.
Dr Sebastiaan Derese, who worked on the device, said: “We’re able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy.”