Urine and the Romans
The re-usability of urine was discovered early on. The Romans, for example, traded in urine and sold it to the leather industry, where it was used to soften leather and remove hairs. Urine was not only used in the leather industry but in the entire clothing industry. Urine was used to strengthen natural dyes and to bind them to, for example, wool.
Before soap, urine, mixed with water, was used as a detergent for clothing. The ammonia in the urine made even the worst stains go out of the clothes. The barrels of urine were therefore eagerly purchased by laundries. Urine was not only used to wash clothes, but the Romans also used it to brush their teeth. The ammonia bleached the teeth and removed stains and tartar.
On the internet you can also find a recipe from 1862 in which urine is used to make gunpowder. The nitrates from the urine are the main ingredient.
Nowadays, urine is used in fertility medication, organic fertilisers and as a source of renewable energy, among other things, but perhaps we can learn from the past and resume processes that have now become synthetic in a more sustainable and natural way. Urine is rightly called the liquid gold and the great thing is that our own body produces it!
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