Tuesday, 8 April 2008
The ultimate reuse of water?
Yup, there is a clue in the title; just what do you use to make mud bricks with in Darfur when you need all the available water there is for drinking?
Architects for Aid (A4A) asked professor Till and his students at Sheffield University to carry out tests on mud bricks made with human urine and these tests showed an improvement over water, as urea proved a better binder for the mud. After further research it was discovered that if the liquid was stored for six months the ammonia destroyed the pathogens in it and the results were even better. Several hundred bricks were subjected to crush, scratch, water spray, soaking and yes, you guessed it, sniff tests, and all showed a superior toughening effect of the urine on the bricks structure compared to normal water constructed mud bricks.
Professor Till said that “this showed that some answers are found in unexpected places”, a masterpiece of understatement in my book, but as far as his comment that “there is a PHD’s worth of additional work here”, I would have to pass on that.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 10:22