Alternative Fuel Sources: Canadian Scientists Developing Energy From Poop

Scientists are extending their research to come up with alternative fuel sources that can save the world from further pollution effects our of petroleum products and from further petroleum product increase. Recent studies carried out by the Canadian Energy Department are converting human wastes into usable fuel which can be used on vehicles.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the Energy Department has been conducting researches and experiments turning poop into alternative fuel sources. Following the process of water treatment, the wastes flushed down through the toilets undergo several processes. Wastes go down through the pipes to the sewers until they reach the sewage treatment plant.

From the treatment process, liquids are then separated from the solid particles. The liquid will then be purified and will be discharged into a water surface while the solids will be treated and turned into commercial fertilizer. However, the Canadian scientists are trying to refine the solid wastes to turn them into biocrude oil. According to Science Daily, this type of processed oil is said to be closely similar to crude oil which can also work as gasoline and diesel.

The production of the biocrude oil from wastes supported by a process called liquefaction which, according to experts, is an artificial and accelerated version of the long-time process of crude oil production. The waste reportedly will be exposed to high pressures and temperatures which will cause the substance to break down into its basic chemical compounds. To complete the process, water is dissociated into hydroxide ions and hydrogen where its solvent properties will serve as the catalyst for the reactions needed to create the oil.

Studies rooting from poop-based fuels have long been carried out but the process is reportedly expensive hence dissolving the idea of using such for vehicles. However, the recent conclusion on the use of hydrothermal liquefaction has made the process cheaper. Furthermore, a study conducted by the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation revealed that the hydrothermal liquefaction process can produce a carbon conversion efficiency rate as high as 60-percent, making wastes efficient alternative fuel sources.

As for how much waste should be used, it will be relevant to know that about 34 billion gallons of U.S. sewage treated daily can produce 30 million barrels of biocrude oil every year. This means that only 0.01 percent of what we flush in the toilet everyday can end up as biocrude.

As per Singularity Hub, researchers estimate one person can produce up to three gallons of biocrude oil in a year which is equivalent to 1.4 gallons of gasoline. Hence, one person can support a 40-mile trip with his whole year of poop converted into biocrude oil.

The research of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is then continuing to develop a technology that will support the process. Genifuel will work on the equipment along with other companies to build a demonstration plant to make the research on human poop as alternative fuel sources possible.

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