Science News

A Wee Tale of Energy Saving

Sat, 24th Jun 2006

Part of the show Naked Q&A and The Life of Benjamin Franklin

Scientists at the University of Delft are proposing a new way of taking the proverbial... Currently, urine that goes into sewage systems is very rich in nitrogen and phosphates, which take a lot of energy to remove when the waste is purified. The researchers propose that urine should be collected separately from the rest of our waste, and transported in tankers for local reprocessing. If half the urine in a town could be collected, it would save around a quarter of the costs involved in processing the rest of the sewage. Furthermore, it would mean the sewage smelt less, and pipes won't rot so quickly. Phosphates - an important raw material - could also be extracted from the urine. However, there are still plenty of economic and practical hurdles to be overcome before we are able to successfully take the urine out of everybody.


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