Follow us


Scientists have now found a way to develop bricks out of urine

Scientists have now found a way to develop bricks out of urine

That’s right – researchers from the University of Cape Town have developed bio-bricks made out of human urine

Science is an interesting thing. Whereas some researchers spend time to find cures for terrible diseases like cancer and dementia, other scientists are looking for ways to turn human excrement into building blocks. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still very impressive but just kind of odd. Scientists from the University of Cape Town have now developed the world’s first bio-brick, which was sustainably made from human urine. But how would one go about turning urine into bricks capable of building houses? Apparently, the process only takes a mixture of sand, bacteria, urine and a special process that helps the combined materials naturally cake together at room temperature.

 Photo courtesy of Robyn Walker

Photo courtesy of Robyn Walker

Dr. Dyllon Randall, along with students Vukheta Mukhari and Suzanne Lambert are the researchers behind the innovation. As part of UCT’s Department of Civil Engineering, the team uses a natural process called microbial carbonate precipitation to form the bricks. One really cool element of this newly found brick building process is that it creates zero waste thanks to recycling, upcycling and the hardening process, which doesn’t require a kiln. But are the bricks really that strong? According to the team, the strength of the brick depends on the client needs. “If a client wanted a brick stronger than a 40% limestone brick, you would allow the bacteria to make the solid stronger by ‘growing’ it for longer,” Randall said.

 Photos courtesy of Robyn Walker

Photos courtesy of Robyn Walker

We’re interested to see whether or not the bricks smell anything like urine. Let us know what you think about the new bio-bricks in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe to The Sitch for more interesting scientific innovations and other entertaining reads.

Here's how to make your own pumpkin spice latte

Here's how to make your own pumpkin spice latte

Kendall Jenner’s new oversized coat brings big coats to the next level

Kendall Jenner’s new oversized coat brings big coats to the next level