Paying waste: Sewage contains more usable energy than scientists thought


Is what you flush down the toilet wasted energy? People living in countries with flush-toilets and running water produce a huge amount of wastewater daily. This water, thanks largely to excrement, is full of organic compounds that store usable energy in their chemical bonds. Several methods can be employed to harvest it—for example, engineers can extract methane through anaerobic (oxygen-free) digestion, or produce electricity using microbial fuel cells.

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