Now don’t be grossed out, but it seems human fecal waste will actually be useful to something – obtaining hydrogen and even water to drink out of it! The bold initiative belongs to a team of researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Manchester and Durham University, who received the funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The purpose of technology is actually very humanitarian, being intended for the people in the developing world if they are to power their homes and sustain any type of life.
The project has two steps: first, they expect to see an independent sanitation device as a kind of basis for the technology itself, and only after they see that in place, the researchers plan to go forward.
So step two would mean bringing forth a portable device that contains a porous scaffold with bacteria and metal nano-particles. When the fecal matter is run through, it reacts with the particles and the result is water and hydrogen.
The first demonstrative prototype is expected by 2013. However, in the long run, the team wants to make it smarter than most, who touch their limit with 2 resources. Just think of one single device producing 3 different types of resources at once: electrolytes for electricity, methane for energy and ammonia as a fertilizer.
Of course, the device can be used by anyone who wants to have a self-reliant household, but it is the developing world that seems most in need of it. In this rhythm, it looks like anything will be re-used in the near future!
Mike is a master student of graphic design and is particularly interested in green designs and green technologies that affect people directly. Besides publishing, he supervises any changes in the site's aesthetics. The current logo is his concept.
More like this article
Not what you were looking for? Search The Green Optimistic!
Join the Discussion4027 total comments so far. What's your opinion ?
Well bless my soul, so these scientists have found a technology that pretty much mirrors a technology that is at least 6,000 years old, is currently in use all over the world, and is powering millions of packing houses, food processing plants, farms, homes and villages right now, today.The main difference is that it seems this new technology will take several more years to develop, and will be inherently very costly for poverty stricken folks to purchase; requiring one to buy and install a complicated catalyst machine.The ancient technology; methane digestion, is nearly free on a home or small farm scale, and is readily available today.On a home or farm scale. methane digestion can use all recycled and found materials to build, can be easily set up in an afternoon and is easily used by anyone. The methane digesters can use a much broader range of feedstocks, in addition to human sewage, including straw, corn cobs, sawdust, garbage, dead animals, kitchen and restaurant wastes, scrap cardboard and paper, butchering offal and cannery wastes.Millions of these methane digesters are in use around the world right now today.