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Distillate urine

  1. Nov 10, 2011 #1
    I'd like to know if it is possible to distillate urine so we can extract potable water from it.
    I know that some of its components, like ammonia, can be found of the resulting liquid but couln't we just heat urine at a certain temperature so it is just the water that is distillated?

    Thank you

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2011 #2


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  4. Nov 10, 2011 #3
    You can, but don't ever try it. It's the most disgusting thing in the world.
  5. Nov 10, 2011 #4


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    You're an astronaut on the space station? :wink:
  6. Nov 11, 2011 #5


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    When I was a kid I watched a documentary on the urine purifier that NASA uses, as part of the test they used a machine to measure the purity of water and compared the purified urine to tap water. The former was purer than the later by several orders of magnitude.
  7. Nov 12, 2011 #6
    Haha, I mean, at the space station they surely have a good way of doing it, but don't try to do it at your lab or something.
  8. Nov 13, 2011 #7

    Andy Resnick

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  9. Nov 20, 2011 #8


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    I doubt it's a single distillation step. With any distillation process, the idea is to gradually raise the temperature to evaporate off the volatile components in stages and collect the fractions of distillate. I haven't ever felt the need to look into the boiling temperatures of the components of urine, but there are probably a few that would be in earlier fractions than the water. Though, it probably falls very strongly in the "don't try this at home" category, unless you really hate your neighbors. I'm sure the process doesn't smell very nice.
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