Scientists have created a solar-powered device to extract water and fertiliser from human urine that could be used to grow crops needed to produce beer.
The device, developed by researchers from University of Ghent in Belgium, uses solar energy to heat the urine that is collected and dumped into a tank.
As the urine evaporates, it is pushed through a “special” membrane that separates and collects water and other material, ‘Techxplore’ reported.
According to researchers, this process removes approximately 95 per cent of the ammonia that is present in urine, making it clean enough to drink.
However, realising that many people may not be ready for a sample taste, researchers also have plans to use the water and the fertiliser they make from the other materials extracted (phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen) to grow a crop of hops which will be used to make more beer.
They started their work with the notion of a filtering device and the goal of helping people residing in rural areas where water is meagre.
The device might also be useful in highly trafficked areas such as sports venues, music events and airports, researchers said.
They claim that their device is more energy efficient than other wastewater treatment machines, offering users more immediate benefits.