>> These are not your usual bricks. In fact, they're made of urine or as these researchers call it, liquid gold. These scientists in South Africa create them with human waste, sand and bacteria. Luckily the final product is odorless, and it's hoped the world's first bio brick could improve sustainability in the building industry.
>> If we consider for example the amount of waste water we produce from our homes, in terms of volume, urine only makes up 1% of that waste stream. But it contains over 80% of the nitrogen. About 70% of the potassium and 50% of the phosphorus. Now those are three key nutrients needed to make any inorganic fertilizer and, literally, we pee those away every single day.
And we flush it through our sewer and networks. Why should we not be recovering it instead and basically making multiple products. And in my mind, that's the way we achieve a truly sustainable future.>> The concept of using urine to grow bricks has previously been tested in the Unites States, using synthetic solutions, but this is the first brick that has ever used real human urine.
They're created through a process similar to how coral reef's are formed. Loose sand is mixed with bacteria, which breaks down the urea in urine, While producing calcium carbonate through a complex chemical reaction. The bricks are formed at room temperature. Cutting out huge amounts of harmful carbon dioxide produced when making regular bricks that are kiln fired at temperatures of 1,400 degree celsius.
But there is one obstacle preventing mass production. Researchers will have to collect vast quantities of urine. One brick needs about 20 liters of each but the researchers are hoping these bricks will be viable in the next few decades.