FP TrendingMar 30, 2020 16:52:18 IST
Scientists are now testing the efficacy of urine in helping astronauts build some of the world's first moon bases.
According to a study published in the scientific publication Journal of Cleaner Production, urea in astronaut's pee could be used as an additive in making concrete for structures to be built on the moon.
Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Cartegena in Spain said transporting 0.45 kg of material from Earth would cost about $10,000 and thus the construction of anything on the moon would be extremely expensive.
However, the researchers said that space agencies are trying to figure out ways to use raw materials from the moon's surface, or even those that astronauts can provide, in helping them build the structures. Urine is one such raw material.
The study looked into whether urea from urine can be used as an additive that can be incorporated into concrete to soften the mixture and make it more pliable.
“Since urea is the second most abundant component in urine (after water), it is readily available anywhere there are humans. We have therefore explored the possibility of utilising urea as a chemical admixture for lunar geopolymers,” said the study.
Samples containing urea or naphthalene-based superplasticisers could bear heavy weights shortly after mixing, while keeping an almost stable shape.
As per an article in New Atlas, Anna-Lena Kjoniksen of Norway, who was one of the authors of the study, said that they have not yet investigated how urea would be extracted from urine, or if the water in urine could be used for the mixture with materials obtained on the moon, or a combination of both.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.