When we go take a poop and we flush, that poop goes to a sewer treatment plant that uses energy to treat the waste. But what if the opposite was true? What if when we poop, instead of merely looking at it as waste, it can be used for something else, like maybe converting our waste into energy?
That’s something that researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea have done, where they have created a toilet dubbed the BeeVi that can take poop and convert it into energy. This is done by sending the waste to a storage tank where microorganisms break down the fecal matter to isolate the methane gas.
According to the university’s calculations, an average person’s feces each day can be converted to 50 liters of gas, which can then generate about 0.5kWh of electricity, enough juice to drive a car for about 1.2km. It’s obviously not a lot, but it is better than nothing. If anything, it can at the very least help to offset some of our daily energy consumption by doing something we normally would have done anyway.
To top it off, students are encouraged to use this special toilet and will be given a digital currency called Ggool each time they use it, which they can then use to buy things like coffee or instant noodles.
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