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ESA Space Recycling System Converts Urine into Water for Moroccan University
Water recycling systems are generally used in remote locations, such as on board the International Space Station and Antarctica-based research bases. But a similiar system, which turn urine into drinking water, is now being used to treat groundwater for a school in Morocco.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has long been working on a closed loop life-support system that is able to process waste and delives fresh oxygen, food and water to astronauts. But now a similiar system, which can control the spread of unwanted compounds in water uses tiny filter pores to provide water in the town of Sidi Taïbi near Kenitra, 30 km from Morroco’s capital city Rabat.
The groundwater around Sidi Taïbi has been described as being unsuitable for human consumption, due to nitrate-rich fertilisers being used on farmland. ESA’s technology, provided by French company Firmus and Germany’s Belectric, is expected to clean up that water via a completely self-sustaining unit powered by solar panels and wind energy.
The system has already had positive effects at the other end of the world where, in Antarctica at the Concordia research base, it has used water filtration to recycle waste water from showers, washing machines and dishwashers. If the prototype system proves successful, then it is hoped that the space-age system will be upgraded in order to clean 10 times the amount of water for the local population.
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