In the world of today, innovations keep growing from glory to glory. Sometimes when you look at it, you just thank God you were born in this generation. A generation where no waste is a waste; where products are thankfully and thoughtfully convertible. Who could have thought that someday something as insignificant as human urine could be converted into something useful in the building industry; every time I step in the bathroom I remember just how much of a gold mine my wastes have suddenly become, all thanks to these university of cape town researchers (UCT)
Three researchers from the university of cape town UCT south Africa by name Suzanne Lambert (civil engineering masters student), Dr Dyllon Randall (project supervisor), and Vukheta Mukhari (civil engineering honors student who assisted Lambert in the project) worked on this ground breaking project.
Lambert and his team discovered that urine by volume contains less than 1% of domestic waste water, 80% of nitrogen, 56% of phosphorus and 63% of potassium found in waste water. Now you know the waste urine isn’t really a waste after all the vast majority of the phosphorus present in the urine can be converted into calcium phosphate, a crucial ingredient in bricks which is depleting in supply.
About 28-30 liters of urine is required to make one brick block. Urine collected from a specially designed male urinal at civil engineering building, UCT, was taken to the lab where the brick making process took place. There were no much requirements, if you ask me I’d say most of the miracle components that formed the brick were all contained in the urine, as the other ingredients were just sand and bacteria.
The bacteria would be grown for longer to enable it make the brick stronger. The process is quite a simple one. Loose sand had been colonized by this bacteria to release urease breaks down the urea in the urine, producing calcium carbonate (limestone, which is the key ingredient in cement) that cements the sand into place.
A good thing about this bio b rick is the fact that the brick does not need kiln firing to solidify. It solidifies on its own in 6-8 days under room temperature. In the case of Lambert, it did solidify in the lab. This reason is why it is eco friendly and very durable.
Bio bricks don’t smell, you do not have to worry about the smell of urine as the urine odor dries off completely in just about 4 days….and the bricks are just as beautiful as something not produced by urine.
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