Do you ever wonder how good it would be if we can convert all our human excreta into some useful thing and never make them go waste? Well, wonder no longer as this could soon become a reality. Yes, thanks to a new technique developed by researchers, human poo could soon be used as a reusable fuel! Interesting development, isn’t it?
Created by researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, a public research university in Beersheba, Israel, the technique reportedly results in a safe, reusable fuel, as well as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
But do you know the technique involves an interesting process to convert human poo into reusable fuel?
It uses a process called hydrothermal carbonization in which human waste is heated in a pressure cooker. This converts the waste into hydrochar – a safe, reusable biomass fuel that resembles coal. Take a look at the process below as shared by the Mirror.
Professor Amit Gross, who led the research, said:
“Human excreta are considered hazardous due to their potential to transmit disease. While it is rich in organic matter nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, human waste also contains micro pollutants from pharmaceuticals, which can lead to environmental problems if not disposed or reused properly.”
It is believed that the technique could also help to provide a sustainable energy source for millions of people who currently rely on less environmentally friendly resources, such as wood.
Meanwhile, the discovery reportedly addresses two key challenges in the developing world – sanitation, and growing energy needs. And for this, professor Gross added saying “By treating human waste properly, we can address both of these issues at once.”
Needless to mention, according to the World Health Organisation, 892 million people still defecate in the open, due to a lack of basic sanitation services.