10 Ways Urine Can Shape The Future

Science and everyday inventions have never stopped to startle the rest of the world. With every passing day, it’s progressing and taking on things that one could have never imagined 50 years ago. Creating the best out of waste is sort of the forte of these brilliant minds who are now harnessing our daily excretory product, urine, into something a lot more useful.

10. Fertilizer

Urine contains high quantities of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous- three most important necessities of a good fertilizer. Lots of scientists are debating these days that naturally occurring phosphorous and potassium rich substances may very soon go extinct. So, all around the world rounds of talks have been going on for harnessing urine as a major fertilizer for farms. Not only will this method be cost effective but this way, we will also be recycling and reusing a huge amount of waste product.

9. Reducing pollution

Carbon dioxide, an eminent green gas, is one of the biggest contributors to the green house effect. Scientists have now discovered a method by which a mixture of urine and olive waste water can combat the global warming by absorbing it from the environment. One of the ways in which this technology can be utilized is by installing it in the chimneys of factories where carbon dioxide emissions usually pass through.

8. To charge cellphones

Have you ever thought of or seen instances in movies where people get stranded on islands with no source to charge their phones? Well, it looks like scientists have found a solution to that too. A team of scientists has created the world’s first system based on microbial fuel cells which feasts on urine that can charge a cell phone. Unlike other power generating renewable sources like wind and water, microbial fuel cells work under any and every conditions making it the ultimate phone charger.

7. Generate electricity

British scientists have already shown that they can charge a phone using urine and are now working to scale up their innovation with the aim of providing electricity and sanitation to communities in remote and poor areas. And not-so-surprisingly, it’s not just them who are working on this project. Some time back 4 Nigerian teenage girls created a generator that could produce electricity for 6 hours with 1 liter of urine. An average person excretes 2 liters of urine everyday so this cost effective model can be used by an individual also.

6. Water substituent

Even though the thought of drinking your own processed and refined urine might sound very creepy and uncomfortable, it can soon be the truth which will tackle the water crisis faced by everyone. Astronauts are already known to be regularly recycling their urine to fulfill their thirst during their missions to space. The US National Research Council assures that the health risks of recycling urine may be significantly lower than extracting water from current sources.

5. Self healing rubber

French researchers have invented an artificial rubber like substance from vegetable oil and urea (a component of urine) which can heal back i.e. repair itself and bounce back to normal even when it has been cut into two pieces. Molecules in the rubber are so strongly attracted to each other that they rebound when cut.

4. Fuel

Countries are waging wars to get oil but let’s face the truth, it is going to deplete to zero soon and then we won’t have much left to fuel our machines. NASA scientists have devised a process called forward osmosis that extracts ammonia from urea which is found in urine so that it can be combined with fuel cells to produce clean and renewable energy. This could be a big breakthrough in today’s world of exhaustible sources

3. Artificial teeth

Silver, gold, animal bone- teeth made from these are too mainstream. When did that happen? Well, recently Chinese scientists have grown artificial rudimentary teeth from human urine. These teeth like structures were grown from stem cells harvested from urine. For obvious reasons, the experiment has received a lot of criticism. Even though the idea of getting artificial teeth made from urine in your mouth is a highly disturbing one, it can surely open doors to many new inventions and discoveries.

2. Robot blood

Robots will no longer just be heartless machines as researchers at University of the West of England and the University of Bristol have recently developed a robotic heart like pump which is run by urine. The robot derives its power from urine like how we get ours from blood. The pump consumes less than 50 milliliters of urine per day.

1. Brain cells

Chinese researchers have devised a new technique to produce immature brain cells harvested from urine. Can Science get any better? Our urine contains skin shells from the lining of the kidney which have been reprogrammed into stem cells by the researchers. These stem cells have been transformed into brain cells. There is still a lot of scope for research but it has definitely opened a wide range of possibilities and opportunities in the medical field.


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