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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