Science and Technology 

Using urine to heat homes

Source:  The Economist

Urine, though distained by modern society, was once surprisingly useful stuff. Street-facing laundries in ancient Rome had pissoirs attached to them, to encourage passers-by in need of relief to provide, free of charge, a raw material which was then fermented into a degreasing agent. Urine also found employment as a mordant, to assist in the dying of cloth—Scottish tweed was once notorious for smelling of the stuff when it got wet. And urine was, too, a source of potassium nitrate, one of the ingredients of gunpowder.

Now, Chen Wei-Shan of Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, thinks he has found yet another use for urine...

The Economist:  Using urine to heat homes

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