Water Sector News
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Poo power? WSU researchers improve transformation of sewage into electricity
Creating their own cheap, renewable energy could soon be a reality for cities thanks to new research from Washington State University Tri-Cities.
Researchers at the Richland campus are working to streamline and scale up a bioengineering process to produce renewable natural gas out of treated human feces.
The process will help cities, counties and smaller governments reduce the amount of carbon dioxide they produce by powering wastewater treatment facilities and city-owned electric vehicles with the natural gas — in this case, methane — that's produced.
"These small communities, they want to do something to reduce their carbon footprint, and they can do it in a simple way," said Birgitte Ahring, a professor of biological systems engineering and chemical engineering at WSU Tri-Cities. "If it takes off for those that want to commercialize it, it'll be big business."