Turning water into wine? That’s old news. Urine into beer? Sounds like a true IP(ee)A.

Scientists from Belgium built a solar-powered machine that can turn urine into drinkable water. They decided the best place to get a ton of urine was a 10-day music and theater festival in central Ghent.

The team was able to collect 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of unconsumed water that they will use to make Belgian beer, from the partygoers’ urine.

Credit: Beerlens.com

Using membrane distillation, the scientists were able to remove 95 percent of ammonia from the urine. The urine is heated in a solar-powered boiler, then passes through a membrane separating water from nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium, which may be used to make fertilizers.

The goal of the researchers is to create larger versions of the machines and have the installed in airports and sports facilities. They also want to help communities who have difficulties finding potable water.


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