Scientists around the world are trying to create an element that will help build structures on the moon. The European Space Agency has recently come up with research that helps make lunar concrete. However, it is not a product of your daily cement. Researchers have found a way to create concrete using urea from human urine.
The agency claims that researchers have found urine to be a very useful ingredient for making ‘lunar concrete‘. It makes the compound more malleable in nature before it hardens into a solid structure. This allows it to bend into any shape required. This also means that components need not be carried from Earth to the moon. Human urine will be available easily from the astronauts already present there.
From astronaut waste to superplasticiser, urine could help build robust concrete for a #Moonbase. Researchers are bringing urea, lunar dust simulant and 3D printing to the mix to #ExploreFarther 👉 https://t.co/VzIznMgCNd pic.twitter.com/Whuc1ozP3m
— ESA (@esa) May 8, 2020
Making Lunar Concrete using urine
The main components required to create the substance, lunar concrete, is a powdery soil that is found only on the Moon’s surface. This is lunar regolith. ESA claims that urea helps to break hydrogen bonds faster and also helps reduce the viscosity of the fluid mixtures. This will help limit the amount of water required in the procedure.
This also helps produce a self-sustainable supply of concrete for future lunar inhabitants. The daily, 1.5 liters of wastewater can now be utilized in a more effective way. On Earth, urea works as an industrial fertilizer. It is amazing to see that it helps build concrete for Moon. This experiment will ensure that astronauts can use urine to make a lunar base in the moon in the coming future. It is very practical and it avoids the need for overcomplicating things. But to make the concrete one must use lunar regolith only.
What do you think of this new invention? Let us know in the comment section below!
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.