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πŸ’© This toilet turns poop into energy

πŸ’© This toilet turns poop into energy

Have you ever seen your poop as something valuable that could generate power and even provide you with money? According to scientists in South Korea, this is could be the future.

Elina Holmgren Tyskling
Elina Holmgren Tyskling

A team of scientists at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has been experimenting with human excrement. In a pavilion on the campus, they have placed three experimental toilets. One of these collects excrement and makes biogas out of it. It's called the BeeVi toilet. The poop is transferred to a reactor that turns it into biogas, and from the biogas, the scientists separate methane and carbon dioxide. The aim is to use the power source to heat buildings and fuel busses.

"BeeVi" is waterless, and when used, it also rewards the visitor with a cryptocurrency called Ggool. In a paper, the scientists write that they want to changes people's perception of feces, and they also think about pooping and the contribution of poop in a broader, philosophical sense. They write:

"In particular, the fact that everyone can provide more or less the same amount of feces as an energy source forms an underlying basis for the societal welfare system; everyone has the equal right to be benefitted by the communal energy management system as he or she is able to supply the sources of alternative forms of energy."

The scientists even envision a small community designed in the format of a hexagon where the feces of the community is used as power and the feces currency, FSM, are used for payments. In the paper, they write about the imaged community:

"For instance, production occurs at the biocenter that generates bio-energy, monetary activities take place at a golden bank where inhabitants exchange feces for FSM, and local food production happens in a community farm."