Clean technology can be dirty business

Marc Sanchez Mar 2, 2012

Scientists at Penn State announced advancements in fuel cell technology yesterday as part of a report published in the journal Science yesterday. The idea they put forth is to create energy out of sewage. Sounds gross, I know, but this could be huge. Professor Bruce Logan is working on the project. He spoke with the Guardian:

Switching sewage plants from users to generators of electricity would be especially useful in developing countries, said Logan, an environmental engineer specialising in water systems. “There are 2 billion people in the world who need sanitation, including 1 billion who need access to clean water,” he said. “If you go into a country and give them a waste treatment system – the World Bank and others have done this – they do not keep it going, as it needs power and maintenance. It is a drain on the community. But if you can also provide electricity for lighting, or charging mobile phones, that’s a game-changer.”

The researchers believe that energy generated from reconstituted sewage could be used to provide power for entire water grids.

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