New Spacecraft Fuel: Urine?
Scientists in Puerto Rico think they've found a way
By Newsy, a Newser Video Partner
Posted Apr 16, 2014 9:55 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Getting water and fuel to spacecraft in orbit can get pretty expensive, but a new process could scale that down—simply by recycling urine. The science behind the idea of drinking water that was once pee could provide a more affordable way to not only hydrate astronauts but also fuel spaceships. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station already recycle wastewater to recover about 75% of water through distillation, but the process removes the nitrogen-rich compound urea. Now, scientists from the University of Puerto Rico say a rather complicated process involving osmosis and a bioreactor can transform that compound into ammonia that fills a fuel cell and emits power.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
CommentsOnArticles
Apr 17, 2014 10:42 PM CDT
Hmm...organic material used to create mechanical energy...how long before someone comes up with a similar method to make gasoline?
TomFlores
Apr 17, 2014 8:46 PM CDT
Great excuse to have beer in space! Hello Houston we need some Coors sent up the Bio-reactor is running low on fuel! :)
Ezekiel 25:17
Apr 17, 2014 12:13 AM CDT
Where is that college that has a bathroom above a liquid waste processing system and 1 story below it is a water fountain hooked up to it.