Throughout the years, we have shown you how people are using animal and human urine in surprisingly innovative ways. This humble yellow liquid—a by-product secreted by our kidneys—has proven to be an extremely versatile and affordable source of sustainable power as well as a vehicle for experimental design. We have compiled a list of 6 amazingly bizarre examples of its potential uses, including its uses as a power source, for making furniture, cooking eggs, or heating up an entire house. It’s amazing how useful urine has turned out to be!
The Barn House in Japan’s Memu Meadows is an award-winning experimental dwelling heated by urine. Designed by Keio University’s Co+Labo department, it shelters two humans and two horses, producing heating and organic plant fertilizer from the equines’ pee.
The Dupe stool is a surprisingly sturdy, compostable seat made from bacteria, sand, and pee. Created by UK art student Peter Trimble using a self-made machine, this low-cost, low-energy sandstone design is the result of a biological reaction and can be broken up and used as fertilizer at the end of its lifetime.
“Virgin Eggs” are a very strange Chinese delicacy made by boiling chicken eggs in urine collected from boys under the age of 10. A traditional springtime snack from the city of Dongyang, this dish is said to have magical nutritional qualities that help to boost the immune system.
For Creating False Teeth
False teeth have always been made from all sorts of materials—like animal bones, wood or gold— but scientists have now crafted the very first urine-based teeth. Created by a research team at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, the innovative process consists of growing a tiny tooth-like structure from stem cells harvested from urine, and mixed with other organic material.
To Power Phones
While the idea of a pee-powered phone might sound gross, the good part is that it doesn’t require special atmospheric conditions like the sun or wind to work. Developed by a team of scientists at Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the world’s first pee-powered cell phone uses a system based on microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that feast on urine, creating electricity as a by-product.
As a Power Source
Four 15-year-old Nigerian girls have come up with a DIY generator that produces 6 hours of power from one liter of urine. Presented at Maker Faire Africa, the device has an electrolytic cell that removes hydrogen from the urine, which is then purified and squeezed through a cylinder full of liquid borax. This last step removes any excess humidity, so the hydrogen can be used for pee-power!