Flushing Energy Down the Drain

A new study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal of the American Chemical Society says that the energy producing potential of wastewater has been underestimated by about 20%.

In “Determination of the Internal Chemical Energy of Wastewater” professor Elizabeth Heinrich wrote that turning wastewater into another energy source would have substantial benefits since the US uses about 1.5% of its electricity supply to treat more than 12.5 trillion gallons of water each day.  The article estimates that the energy potential of each gallon of treated wastewater is the equivalent of running a 100 watt light bulb for five minutes.

I will spare you the discussion of the net metering potential of this.  The best I think you can expect is that each trip to the bathroom can now be considered “carbon neutral”.

Wash your hands!


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