Human Waste Used to Power 200 Homes
A town in the UK has become the first ever to supply homes with natural gas…created from human waste.
To meet growing energy demands, scientists are increasingly taking their cue’s from nature. To that end, a pilot program in Didcot, England has begun using human waste to supply natural gas to 200 homes.
Waste that is flushed into the system is re-routed from the sewers, and into large digesting chambers. There it is heated and stored for 18 days, simulating the digestion process in your stomach. The resulting mix of methane and carbon dioxide is treated, and then injected right into the grid. People can then use the bio-methane for all household gas needs.
The ‘natural’ gas, once it reaches a home, is indistinguishable from regular natural gas. The program has been such a success that an expansion is planned, to provide 15% of all of England’s natural gas by 2020 from sources such as human waste, as well as waste products from farms.
The project took six months to complete and cost £2.5m (roughly, $10m). Incidentally, Didcot, England is the healthiest town in all of England, with the 2001 average life expectancy a healthy 20 years above England’s national average.