Forget Polishing A Turd: QLD Researcher Finds Way To Turn It Into Energy

News! Poos! Poo news!
University of Queensland researcher by the name of Dr Shihu Hu has just found an ingeeeeeeenious way to turn human excrement into electricity.
The organic material found in the water can be broken down into what’s known as methane-rich biogas. But there’s also nitrogen in the water, which needs to be removed, using ethanol.
This annoying process destroys half the poop, dramatically reducing the amount that is left to convert to methane.
What’s worse is that treating wastewater is an energy-intensive activity. In some cities, it accounts for up to a whopping 20% of their entire energy consumption.
“The new technology we are developing can recover more methane without requiring ethanol to be used to remove nitrogen,” Dr Hu has said.
The real kicker is how Dr Hu came to this conclusion. He’s been experimenting at Brisbane‘s Luggage Point – the state’s largest wastewater treatment facility. 
“The site gives me unlimited access to free samples, with about 60 Olympic swimming pools of waste arriving every day,”
60 Olympic pools worth. Thatsa lot of brown stuff.
Hopes are that this development will be “rapidly adopted” and that hundreds of thousands of dollars will be saved at larger facilities.

Source: The Age.

Photo: Getty / Dave and Les Jacobs /