You probably have seen a video where someone starts a fire with his urine, and just in the middle of having your daily urine excretion, you stop to wonder; Is urine flammable? In this article, we’ll learn all about it.
Is Urine Flammable?
The short answer is No. Urine itself is not flammable, since it is excrement that contains more water than flammable content. When urine is excreted, over 90% of it is water, and water does not burn.
It instead puts the fire out. Ever heard of boys putting out a campfire with urine? Well, this is possible regardless of how disgusting it may sound.
Urine comprises 95% water. The other 5% present in urine include various substances like creatine and nitrogen, which are also not flammable. The flammable components like urea, sodium, ammonia, and potassium present in urine are tiny bits, hardly enough to create a fire.
If these chemicals, like urea nitrate and ammonia, are isolated, they can be flammable. For instance, it can explode when ammonia is isolated and exposed to high heat.
According to the occupational safety and health administration of the United States Department of Labor, the liquid is flammable if it has a flash point at or below 199.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, when we pee, our urine comes out at 98.6 degrees F, the same as our average human body temperature, which makes urine a non-flammable liquid.
That urine, when secreted, is not flammable does not mean that it cannot start a fire. In situations where urine is the only available content to put up a fire, it will come in handy. You could use some tricks to make urine generate fire for you.
Can you start a fire with urine?
To give you a straight answer, yes, you can.
Though urine isn’t flammable, you can start a fire with urine by controlling the heat-carrying photons of sunlight.
Starting a fire with urine is incomplete if we do not mention Hennig Brand, the scientist who collected about 1500 gallons of urine to collect a white powder that burst when exposed to air.
He discovered phosphorus around 1669 in Germany.
Using your urine to light a fire may not be the best option under normal circumstances, but urine can save a life during a survival mission when you’re stuck in the woods. All you need is an empty bottle, urine, dry grass, and stones.
- READ MORE: Is Lead Flammable?
Is cat urine flammable?
Cat urine is not flammable, but under the right circumstances, cat urine can cause health hazards.
While most people see cats as harmless household pets, cat urine is not so harmless.
Cats mark their territory with their urine. This excretion scares away unwanted intruders. But more than that, it produces hazardous substances to human health and can cause serious problems.
Is dog urine flammable?
Just like bears and cats, dog urine is not flammable.
However, it is a biohazard waste that could cause problems if not dealt with on time. If your pet pees on your carpet, endeavor to clean it up quickly because leaving it could pose health risks for you.
When your pet pee dries up, it leaves ammonia on your carpet, and the fumes are pretty unhealthy and can lead to suffocation.
- Read More: Can you burn salt?
Can your urine catch on fire?
While you’re curious to know if your pee is flammable, you may have wondered if your urine can catch on fire. To answer quickly, urine cannot catch on fire. Instead, it will help you put out the fire because your urine contains 95% water, and water does not catch on fire.
Is urea flammable?
Urea is not flammable.
However, it becomes flammable when dried, especially if it ignites other chemicals like nitrates and inorganic chlorides.
Urea is one of the various components present in urine. When it is isolated or extracted from the liquid and comes in contact with chlorine gas, it can cause an explosion and generate fire.
- READ MORE: Is water flammable?
Can too much alcohol make your urine flammable?
It is no news that alcohol is a flammable liquid, especially when exposed to heat. But what happens when you drink it? Can too much alcohol make your urine flammable? The answer is no.
Usually, when you consume alcohol, your body breaks down all the components in the liquid you consume—both the kidney and liver filter alcohol.
The liver alone breaks down about 90% of the alcohol we consume, leaving only about 5–10% excreted in your urine, breath, and sweat.
Meaning whether you take too much alcohol, it will hold little effect since the urine we excrete is mostly water.
For the alcohol to become combustible, the ethanol concentration in your urine should be at least 50%. Sadly, ethanol does not make it to your urine before it turns to acetate.
Urine is a liquid byproduct of metabolism in humans and other animals. Though it is not flammable, it contains lots of salt and is an excellent conductor for electricity. So I wouldn’t advise you to urinate on an electric fence. If you’re stuck in the woods and you are short of supplies, the following steps will help you start a fire;
- Get all you need to start the fire; an empty plastic bottle, dry grass, urine, and stones.
- Urinate into the can (the urine should be normal, not dark and dehydrated) and wear the cap properly.
- Turn the bottle upside down and direct it towards the sun. Sunlight is the prime factor in starting a fire with urine. The bottle attracts the sun and serves as a magnifying glass, making the sun’s rays refract to the dry grass.
- Ensure you have set your stones correctly and dry grass or paper is available
- The sunrays will filter through the transparent liquid, allowing the heat-carrying photons to turn into a single hotspot. This hotspot will help burn the dried grass and eventually start a large fire.
- Be patient because it will take some time for flames to show up.
This trick can also work with water. For a more detailed approach, watch how a camper starts a fire with urine here.