Culinary Institute Of America In San Antonio Texas Human Waste As an Alternative Energy Source

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Human Waste As an Alternative Energy Source

With all the talk these days around renewable energy such as solar and wind power, even harnessing the power of ocean waves, a source of energy that is often overlooked is right under our noses, so to speak: human waste. It may not be as exciting or exciting as other methods, but generating energy from human waste may be more important than anything else. The population of the world is increasing day by day along with the demand for energy and wealth, and wealth is rare and coveted. The only thing that can increase in proportion to the population is our waste. Feces and urine are abundant and readily available wherever there are people. Currently most of the energy produced from fossil fuels and water (often potable) is used to produce waste products. Innovations in sewage composting, biogas harvesting, biofuel production and micro fuel cells can allow us to reverse this trend and take advantage of untapped opportunities.

Although skeptics believe that composting toilets will not work well in Western countries, modern and ancient methods are being used to solve two problems: how to manage our waste, and how to produce enough food without destroying ourselves and our environment with expensive chemicals. Fertilizer. The next generation of compostable toilets, such as those produced by Clivus Multrum, are solving these problems and making the system more attractive to consumers. The most low-cost composting toilets they produce have a bottom compost bin and labor is included with the product. A low-tech composting toilet is being used by the NGO Estamos in Africa. Although the organization’s goals are to improve sanitation and reduce disease, their policies also help smallholder farmers earn a living. The organization provides composting toilets free of charge, and has greatly improved the lives of many poor families. The director of the organization, Feliciano dos Santos, has just won the 2008 Goldman Environmental Award in Ecological Sanitation for this project.

Many countries have well-known methane capture programs that use animal waste, such as pig farms in Australia and cattle ranches in the United States. But what about the carbon emissions of human waste? Developing countries are pioneering this as a way to save money and generate more energy. With the support of the Heifer International Foundation, rural farmers in Mukono district in Uganda are mixing human faeces and urine with other biological waste such as water hyacinth and banana peels to produce biogas, and use the product to fertilize crops. their fields. The air produced by biogas contains 60-90% methane, and is used for lighting, cooking and other engines, and many people are improving their lives and rising above poverty. Similarly, the Cyangugu prison in Rwanda is producing biogas from the excrement of its inmates. The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology built the prison’s digester, which uses the chemical to cook 50% of the inmates’ meals, saving $22,000 a year – a huge amount in Rwanda. But it’s not just developed countries that take advantage of man-made emissions. The Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant in Vancouver, British Columbia, which was once the subject of a lawsuit over violating federal pollution laws, has attempted a $1.1 million project to harvest methane from the city’s sewage and feed it directly to a gas distribution plant. The project, which is expected to be operational in 2009, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 500 tons per year, and generate enough energy to power 100 homes. A similar project is underway in San Antonio, Texas.

Recent debates about biofuels have focused on the competition between food crops and oil crops, and many experts are concerned that the high demand for fossil fuels will exacerbate the problem of food insecurity. Several projects have tackled this issue by producing biofuels from algae grown on human waste. One of these is Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, which harvests algae for use in sewage treatment plants in Malborough, New Zealand. The “green crude” they produce from algae can be used to make all kinds of fuels such as oil, diesel and plastics. Specifically, a Canadian company called Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation is feeding human waste directly into biofuel production using a “fast pyrolysis process”. The system achieves an efficiency of 80% in recovering waste gases and heat from the process, and the final product, BioOil®, can be used instead of various oil products. One of the most advanced, cutting-edge technologies for generating energy from human waste is the creation of micro-fuel cells. Created by Dr. Bruce Logan of Penn State’s engineering department, the system has been proposed as a way to remove waste from the grid. The fuel cell, which is still being refined to produce acceptable power, uses waste water to produce hydrogen fuel, with clean water being produced as a byproduct. Although this technology is not practical for other fuel-powered vehicles such as hydrogen-powered cars, it can be used anywhere there is a large amount of organic waste.

Most people only think about the power of destroying human waste, and they don’t want to think about what is happening, but when humanity is so hard to find power we have to start accepting the opposite ways. With the increasing success of the mentioned projects there is a possibility to end the pollution of human wastes all over the world. One day our sewage may be called “brown gold”, and may be more valuable than even crude oil.

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