In brief

January 2016   Comments

High value in human waste

The fecal matter produced annually by humans worldwide could create enough biogas to generate electricity for up to 138 million households, worth up to US$9.5 billion. Further, the residue could be processed into two million tonnes of charcoal-like heating fuel, says a report from the Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health. The expense of building and maintaining sewage treatment facilities means many countries struggle to provide sanitary human waste disposal. However, if treatment facilities captured and reused the energy from waste, the revenue generated would pay for the sanitation infrastructure, solving both problems at once.


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