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Scientists find way of using cow poo to turn salty seawater into drinkable water!

bbc.co.uk

Oct 24, 2021

Scientists have found a way to turn salty seawater into drinkable water - by using cow poo!

Researchers at Northeastern University in America have developed a process that uses cow manure as a filter that then purifies the otherwise undrinkable seawater.

They say that it offers an environmentally friendly way to help fight the global water crisis which is being caused by climate change.

Cow manure is made up of digested grass and grains and is mainly used as a fertiliser by farmers as it's rich in nutrients.
Scientists begin by collecting fresh manure from farms.

They then blast the manure with high heat at temperatures up to 1700 degrees Celsius. This heat kills off any bacteria present in the manure.

The heat also causes the manure to break down to a carbon powder that is then made into a foam to filter out the salt from the seawater.

The foam floats on the seawater's surface and when sunlight hits the area, the water underneath it turns into steam and passes through it as a drinkable liquid!
Around 1.42 billion people live in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability, according to Unicef.

Professor Yi Zheng, one of the researchers behind the project, said: "The materials we use are totally natural, sustainable.

"This natural material performs well, and is low-cost, easy to obtain, and easy to manufacture."

Scientists hope that this technology could one day help poorer communities around the world to build their own systems to purify seawater and give them better access to drinking water.