Bricklayer, Construction, Wall, Brick, Cement

College Students Create World's First Brick Made Of Human Urine

October 27, 2018

College students from Cape Town have advanced science and technology hundreds of years with their latest creation.

For what many believe to be the very first of its kind in existence, the students created a brick made from human urine.  These bio-bricks are made with a combination of urine, sand, and bacteria, opening the door for creating resources from seemingly nothing but waste.  Dr Dyllon Randall, a senior lecturer in water quality engineering at the University of Cape Town supervised the project.  He echoed these sentiments are praised the student's work saying, "In this example you take something that is considered a waste and make multiple products from it.  You can use the same process for any waste stream. It’s about rethinking things."

While regular bricks need to be kiln-fired to become effective, bio-bricks require no such process.  Their made in molds set at room temperature, and are created through a natural process called microbial carbonate precipitation, which is similar to the way seashells are formed.  Loose sand, which has been mixed with a bacteria that produces urease, is mixed with the urine.  The urease breaks down the urine, and produces calcium carbonate, which cements the sand into shape.

The fact that urine can be transformed into a vital resource is simply nothing short of amazing.  Vukheta Mukhari, a civil engineering honors student who worked on the project said, "Given the progress made in the research here at UCT, creating a truly sustainable construction material is now a possibility."

Via The Guardian