How Flushing your Toilet could help create Biofuel
Laura A. ShepardÂ for Popular Science: Â Picture a giant toilet bowl looming larger than life outside the UN headquarters in New York. It sounds like an absurd scene, but the stunt from three years ago was not a childish prank. It was a serious statement to mark the first World Toilet Day and raise awareness of the fact that one third of the worldâ€™s population lacks access to toilets.
Addressing the global sanitation crisis is a top priority among the UNâ€™sÂ Sustainable Development Goals, and it now has an exciting solution.
In fact, science may soon make your toilet bowl a viable alternative energy source. Your flushes can produce two or three gallons of biofuel per year when the wastewater is treated using a process, developed scientists and engineers at the Department of Energyâ€™sÂ Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, called hydro-thermal liquefaction (HTL).
HTL emulates the way crude oil forms naturally, when biomass decays under high pressure and heat for millions of yearsâ€Šâ€”â€Šbut it only takes 45 minutes. Â Cont'd...
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