Scientists tend to find quite interesting energy sources and even more interesting ways of harvesting that energy.
Researchers and scientists from the Department of Biochemical and Microbial Technology at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University in Belgium, discovered how to efficiently extract energy from wastewater. True, the various organic substances usually found in the wastewater are harmful to the environment, however they also contain energy.
In the news release, professor Nico Boon stated: "We periodically starve the bacteria, in a kind of 'fasting regimen'. Afterwards, wastewater is briefly brought into contact with the starved bacteria which are gluttonous and gobble up the organic matter without ingesting all of it. This enables us to harvest the undigested materials for the production of energy and high-quality products. We starve the rest of the bacteria, so that they can purify fresh sewage again. "
Scientists say that up to 55% of the organic matter could be recovered from sewage with the help of the contact-stabilization process. They also found out that such an amount can in fact "provide sufficient amounts of energy to completely treat sewage without the need for external electricity."
This could be an example for many countries to follow in order to implement more affordable and sustainable processes when it comes to wastewater treatment.