Published on Jan 05, 2023
The Objective : The purpose of my science fair experiment was to help the people who might plan a manned trip to Mars. It is intended to find the best way to recycle urine so the astronauts would be able to have water without costing the space station a lot of money and cargo weight. I discovered I could recycle urine by the natural processes of evaporation, condensation & transpiration.
Funnel urine collected over a 3-week period (2 gallons) into a glass flask and place a rubber stopper into it. Connect the flask to a condensing tube, and the tube to another flask with an arm extending from it.
Attach a rubber tube to another flask. Place the flask with the urine on a hot plate and let it boil. After about 10 minutes, H2O will collect in the flasks.
Place this H2O in a test tube to keep it in a safe place and repeat the boiling process. Feed 1/4 of the urine to green bean plants to cause the transpiration process.
Feed 1/4 of the evaporated & condensed urine to the 2nd set of plants so they can transpire this H2O, too. Place the different waters in their respective clear plastic cups to compare the clarity (& odors) of the samples.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = dirtiest sample compared to drinking water and 10 being the clearest), "evaporation & condensation" scored a 7, "transpiration" = 4, & "evaporation, condensation & transpiration" = 1.
The "evaporation & condensation" was the simplest & most efficient. The transpiration was successful, but produced less than a ml of water.
I did not produce enough evaporated & condensed water to feed to the plants so the "evaporation, condensation, & transpiration" did not work.
My hypothesis that the "Evaporation, Condensation & Transpiration" would score highest was incorrect. It scored a 1. No H2O was produced because I did not feed it enough "evaporated & condensed" H2O.
I only fed it 5 ml of "evaporated & condensed" H2O. Had I used 750 ml of evaporated and condensed H2O like I did with the pure urine, I probably would have received at least some H2O. I think the problem lay in the amount of H2O I collected when I was evaporating & condensing urine.
The reason the plants were not able to transpire properly is due to time constraints. If I had more time, I could have evaporated and condensed more water, thus giving the plants more sustenance to transpire.
This project is to determine the best way to recycle urine into water.