Urine + Forward Osmosis - Electricity = NASA Experiment - The UpStream

Urine + Forward Osmosis - Electricity = NASA Experiment

posted Sunday Jul 10, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Urine + Forward Osmosis - Electricity = NASA Experiment

NASA has a tradition of conducting fun experiments in space and given that the space shuttle Atlantis is on its last trip in the final frontier, I thought it would be fitting to discuss one of the last fun experiments we may see for quite a while.

Those of you who have been paying attention to these kinds of experiments in the past might remember something really similar. It works like this, first someone urinates or pours undrinkable water in the "forward osmosis bag" where it filters through a semi-permeable membrane which excludes certain bacteria and particles. Next, the filtered water saturates with sugars to form what they call a "sports drink." The entire process takes about 4-6 hours and was designed by a company in Oregon for hikers, Bear Grylls and other people who find themselves in positions where drinking urine out of a bag is a required option for survival. The big difference between the forward osmosis bag and its predecessors is that it requires no outside power source like electricity; something that is cherished outside city limits and in space.

Take a bathroom break and then hit the break to watch an incredibly detailed demonstration.

For you frequent fliers who don't want to disturb the passengers next to you every time your overactive bladder tells you it's time to go, NASA thought of you too. There is a specialized version for space flight that probably could be applied to terrestrial flight as well. Just don't use it before you get on the plane due to the 3 ounce or less liquid rule. Oh, the applications; NASA, please don't let your weird experiments die off with the shuttle program.


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