Scientists create machine that turns urine into beer

Scientists create machine that turns urine into beer

What if our urine turned beer? Belgian researchers thought … and created the technology for it. Is the dream come true or a nightmare for beer lovers?

A group of scientists at Ghent University, in Belgium, developed a machine that converts urine into fertilizer and drinking water. This water is used to produce beer.

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Although this is not the first attempt to recycle human waste, this time we are talking about a much more efficient and environmentally friendly machine. It is solar energy powered. Its operation involves evaporating urine and then filter it by separating the water from minerals like potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen – a reverse osmosis process.

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The project lasted 2 and a half years. Its first test was filtering residual water from a brewery and returning it to produce beer again. The second test was in a music festival in the city. During the 10-day event all the pee collected generated 1000 litres of water. The third test will be the production of beer from the urine. The name of the project couldn’t be more appropriate: ‘ Sewer to Brewer ‘.

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Do you know that almost 750 million people worldwide do not have access to a safe source of drinking water. According to the UN, this demand will increase 400% by the year 2050. Large breweries use an average of 3 to 4 liters of water for each liter of the beverage produced. In the small ones, this number can reach 10 liters of water. Hence the concern about this which is amongst the most consumed beverages on the planet.

It is clear that the machine can be useful also in rural areas and in developing countries, where water, fertilizers and electricity are to be scarse.

Thinking on the bright side, if world water runs out, at least the beer is still guaranteed!

References: The Food Rush, Reuteurs, NY Daily News, The Telegraph, Instituto Brasileiro de Sustentabilidade, G1

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