While we’ve all probably sipped beer that tasted like watered-down urine, few of us can say we’ve drank beer made from urine — but that’s about to change.
A team of Belgian scientists have created a device — jokingly referred to as a “sewer brewer” — that uses solar energy to turn urine into potable water, which can then be turned into beer. The Ghent University researchers hope that this process will revolutionize the way we treat waste, while helping rural areas and developing countries with limited access to clean drinking water, Reuters reports.
“We’re able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy,” said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese said. “We call it from sewer to brewer.”
The team tried out the device recently at a 10-day music festival in central Ghent, using the slogan #peeforscience. They collected 1,000 liters of water from the urine of attendees, and that water is going to be used to make beer.
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While many people might take pause before drinking a beer made from water extracted from urine, the sewer-brewer process presents quite a few positives: it’s incredibly energy efficient, plus can be used in areas off the electrical grid.
And it’s starting seem like waste-inspired foods are our future, what with a poop-themed dessert café opening in Canada next month and the mere existence of a restaurant in Indonesia that serves their food out of toilet bowls.