Converting Sewage Water into Power

Researchers from Virginia Tech have discovered a new renewable energy source from the waste water we flush down the toilet converted to electricity. This finding has added to the “sustainability movement” of making treatment facilities more energy efficient in order to capture existing energy from waste. Researchers spoke about the discovery by saying “Tracing the bacteria gave us a major piece of the puzzle to start generating electricity in a sustainable way,” said Feng, an assistant professor of biological systems engineering. “This is a step toward the growing trend to make wastewater treatment centers self-sustaining in the energy they use.” Therefore by further testing bacteria they realized that when two substrates are combined, the energy generated is far greater than when they are alone. Wastewater treatment facilities, such as one in Washiungton DC have already taken action by adding the  sustainability measure of harnessing energy from wastewater. Facilities such as this one are able to salvage160223074249_1_540x360 methane from solids in the sewage and therefore, allowing them to generate towns. A plant in Colorado was the first to take eight million gallons of wastewater and fuel cars from human waste! This is a major step forward for renewable energy.

Andrea Gonzalez


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