#345 ‘Out of The Box’ Energy Resource: Urine…!!!

“Those Dutchmen had hardly any imagination or fantasy, but their good taste and their scientific knowledge of composition were enormous”  Vincent Van Gogh


The quote above could be the answer why Dutchmen never stop doing innovations preceded by the emergence of new ideas. In 2010–2011 The Netherlands was ranked at the ninth position from 125 countries surveyed in terms of most innovative country.[i] The Netherlands score high on parameters such as knowledge diffusion (6th) and creative goods and services (2nd). This fact has made The Netherlands become a country which put innovations at it’s best. In The Netherlands making optimal use of the available resources is also the characteristics typical of Dutchmen.[ii]

In The Netherlands, the energy consumption sector is also a field that has ‘weird’ innovations. Why this is weird…? Yeah…because unlike the usual energy resources using oil, coal or hydrogen, it is using URINE!!! This creative and ‘out of the box’ innovation developed by Research Bureau DHV and Delft University of Technology. This innovation is used for fuel cells power in waste water management system.
But how can urine contribute to fuel cells power…? The process of urine turns into electricity is simple. Basically urine contains ammonium. When urine heated up the ammonium will transform into ammoniac gas. The heated gas then connected to fuel cells and eventually it will use to produce electricity. This energy could power 30.000 homes in The Netherlands.[iii] This new power resource can be the answer of the limitation of fossil fuels, wind energy or solar power which is higly depend on weather conditions.
Based on statistics research in The Netherlands, the consumption of renewable energy increased from 3.8% in 2010 to 4.2% in 2011 and about 45% of renewable energy resources are consumed for electricity.[iv] This new power energy from urine can fulfil the future demand of the increasing renewable energy in The Netherlands.
Not only for energy resource, urine is also used as export commodity in The Netherlands. Pregnant women in The Netherlands donate their urine to the organization Mothers for Mothers. Inpregnant women’s urine contains Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) hormone.[v] 
This hormone is used in pharmaceutical industries in increasing women chances of getting pregnant. The mechanism of gathering this urine is pregnant women in The Netherlands collect their urine in a bottle and then the bottle will be picked up by pharmaceutical company MSD. Then the urine processed into a huge vat and cooled, then the HGC hormone extracted. The extracted hormone finally become drug which is then sold all over the world to women who need help getting pregnant.
Two of the facts above show that Dutchmen have the mentality of enterpreneurship, discoverers and pioneers, and of the most important is they can execute imaginations or fantasy into reality, just like what Desiderius Erasmus said:  
“If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don’t do it, and it won’t happen.”
– ditulis oleh Zulkifli

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