New wastewater treatment system could generate electricity too

The problem of how to deal with growing sewage is a reasonable one. The growing population has only compounded the issue. While there are mechanisms in place to deal with sewage, people are now looking for ways whereby waste can be put to use. A couple of day back, a meeting of scientists saw an exchange of ideas and concepts to battle the sewage issue. The boffins described an innovative machine that could help clean up the sewers and generate power at the same time.

Two-in-one device uses sewage as fuel

The scientists’ report stated that commercial productions of the machine could prove to be a boon for areas facing sewage problems. The prototype is capable of processing five times more sewage than conventional technology at six times the efficiency. Moreover, it is doubly cost effective than its predecessors.

The scientists also improved the prototype’s energy recovery capacity from 2 to 13 percent, a significant leap that could pave the way for generating substantial electricity. According to them, future generations of the machine could provide for efficient waste water treatment for free. If successful, the issue of water scarcity could be addressed to a degree in areas facing water shortage.

Current waste water treatment methods involve many steps to separate solid and liquid components. The cleaning process is time consuming and expensive which is why not all regions can afford to invest in the technology. While this is understandable, it has led to more water shortage than ever before. The energy needed to treat waste water has found to be 2 percent of the overall power consumption in the US.

The scientists have devised a more cost effective method using a different version of a microbial fuel cell or MFC. Unlike traditional fuel cells, MFC uses organic matter that produces electrons while breaking down the waste. The negatively charged electrons are electricity’s basic units.

Via: ACS

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