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The Fremen Urinal Frank Herbert Never Imagined

In his classic 1965 novel Dune, the Fremen must make every drop of water count:

She looked down the shadowy line of Fremen, saw Stilgar with Paul standing beside him and the watermasters emptying their load into the pool through a flowmeter. The meter was a round gray eye above the pool's rim. She saw its glowing pointer move as the water flowed through it...

Superb accuracy in water measurement, Jessica thought. And she noted that the walls of the meter trough held no trace of moisture after the water's passage. The water flowed off those walls without binding tension. She saw a profound clue to Fremen technology in the simple fact: they were perfectionists.

Yes, they were perfectionists, and if they had thought of it, they would certainly have these amazing waterless urinals.


(Waterless urinal)

Here's how they work. A special long-lasting gel coating repels liquid. The urine flows off this smooth surface into a siphon, that is sealed with a liquid that is lighter than water. The urine goes through it, and the special liquid goes back to the top, sealing off any odor in the process.

Such urinals are, of course, very handy even on water worlds like our own; a typical urinal uses about three liters of clean water per flush.

From Case Study for Flushless Urinals.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/7/2008)

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