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Self-Sufficient Space Travel

Tokyo Research's Project Turns Space Urine into Plant Fertilizer

— January 6, 2021 — Eco
Self-sufficient space travel is "an important step toward figuring out our space station future." Scientists from Tokyo University of Science have conducted research and developed a way to convert human urine into ammonia fertilizer for growing food." The team was led by Norihiro Suzuki and all findings are published in the form of a letter in the New Journal of Chemistry.

The big idea rests on the fact that nitrogen-rich animal waste is one of the most successful, and eco-conscious, types of fertilizer. The research team has been working on producing ammonia (nitrogen + oxygen) derived from urine. "This process is of interest from the perspective of making a useful product," asserts Suzuki, "i.e., ammonia, from a waste product, i.e., urine, using common equipment at atmospheric pressure and room temperature."

Image Credit: Robert Kneschke/William W. Potter/Adobe Stock/Big Think
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