NASA’s final space shuttle mission, which launched on 8 July, will carry out a most unusual recycling experiment: Can you recycle urine into drinkable water with no power source in space?
For several years, astronauts at the International Space Station have been drinking from a machine that converts urine into water, but the machine consumes too much of the lab’s limited energy supply.
Astronauts aboard the Atlantis plan to test a recycling kit that doesn’t require a power source, but instead relies on the process of forward osmosis.
The recycling kit consists of a system of baggies: a semi-permeable inner bag containing a sugary solution, nested inside an outer bag. An astronaut will pump dirty liquid into the outer bag, and the liquid will slowly pass through the inner bag and into the sugary solution, leaving behind its contaminants. Here on Earth, the kit makes about a liter of sports drink-like fluid in four to six hours.
Astronauts will first test the kit with an experimental fluid – not urine.
The military uses a similar technology to filter out parasites, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from dirty liquids, including urine, to make drinkable water for soldiers.
Source: Earth911 (Alexis Petru)
If the thought of recycling urine to obtain drinking water sounds distasteful, consider that, if you are living in a large, First World city, your municipal drinking water has quite possible passed through many human bodies already!
Also read Urine as a commercial fertilizer?
Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems and Yes Solar Mpumalanga offer eco-friendly rainwater collection systems, rainwater tanks, grey water recycling, swimming pool backwash recycling, water-saving toilet flush mechanisms and high quality Solsquare solar water geysers.
Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a solar water heater, rainwater harvesting system (see rainwater FAQ), gray water recycling system or water tank (we are authorized South African JoJo Water Tanks dealers and supply the full range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo tank stands). Our water tank prices are hard to beat in the Mpumalanga & Limpopo Lowveld.
Water conservation and renewable energy such as solar energy are two issues that affect the global community; make a difference and start conserving water and switch to renewable energy today. Another way of reducing your carbon footprint is to switch to green insurance, now available in South Africa. Consider building and decorating with eco-friendly bamboo products.