There are several advantages to recycling human waste, which includes feces and urine. A human generates fifty litres of excrement and 550 litres of urine every year, according to a study. Human waste may be used in a variety of ways rather than being disposed of in landfills or treated and released into the environment.
And, while human excrement exposes one to infections, efforts may be done to make the procedure humane.
1. Biogas Production
Human waste produces methane gas, which may be captured and utilized to generate biogas. This is accomplished using a method that requires the capture of methane inside an enclosed, oxygen-free container. Organic matter breakdown is aided by high temperatures. When biogas is burned in the atmospheric oxygen, it interacts to generate energy.
The use of biofuels as a sustainable energy source has various advantages, including the fact that it does not contaminate the environment and lower deforestation for energy production. Biogas helps to safeguard the environment by trapping methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. If methane were emitted into the air, it would harm the ozone layer.
We’ve all heard the belief that drinking pee has health advantages, and pure urine can be clean; but, if the individual has a sickness, it may pick up infections on its passage out of the body. But for those who are stranded in the desert without water and can’t bear the notion of drinking plain pee without a chaser, we recommend building a solar still.
The sun’s radiation is still used to evaporate the water from urine, with the condensate collected on a covering, such as clingfilm, and channelled into a bottle to drink.
3. Hydrogen-based Fuel
Hydrogen fuel may be extracted from human excrement using the same method as sending a current across the water. It is more efficient, requiring less energy in the process. Water is drained from human waste solids, and the waste is then placed in airtight tanks to allow microbial activity to occur. As a result, carbon dioxide & methane dioxide are produced.
Methane produced in this technique is less expensive than natural gas. Methane and carbon are combined in a trigeneration process that yields hydrogen fuel, heating, and electricity. A steady source of hydrogen fuel may be obtained because of the quantity of human waste. Hydrogen fuel may be used to power rockets and generate energy by mixing H2O.
4. Transplant Treatment For The Gut
Clostridium difficile refers to a gastrointestinal infection that causes inflammation, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea. This illness is caused by an overgrowth of dangerous microorganisms in the gastrointestinal system.
The utilization of excrement from a healthy individual and transferring it to the patient’s intestines is a treatment for these germs. Because invasive surgery entails slicing, removing, or redirecting organs to remove harmful microorganisms, fecal transplant is preferable.
This method is significant because it reduces antibiotic resistance, which is the capacity of microorganisms to resist treatment that previously cured them. Regardless of how beneficial the surgery is, cautious donor screening is required to minimize the transmission of bacterial and parasite illnesses.
5. Self-care In Mars
Because of the exposure to cosmic rays, life on Mars is predicted to pose a significant danger to the public health of individuals who visit it. The magnitude of the effects of galactic cosmic ray radiation on humans is unknown, however, it is known to raise the risk of developing cancer.
Human feces, along with water and food, can be placed in bags and utilized as a barrier against radiation to protect humans. This will be installed on the space shuttle, which will be utilized for interplanetary travel. The bags will be loaded with drinking water from Earth, and when they get on Mars, they will be changed by bags containing human excrement due to water depletion.
Bonus Point: Making Beer
The Beercycling initiative of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, in partnership with the Danish firm, is an intriguing example of indirect reuse. In 2015, they collected urine from participants of one of Europe’s major music festivals. The pee collected was used to enrich Danish fields where 11 tonnes of malted barley were gathered in 2016. In 2017, the grain was utilized in the creation of 60k bottles of Pilsner beer, which were promoted under the amusing brand name “Pisner.”
The Bottom Line
As a result, human feces appears to be a low-cost and ecologically beneficial option for several modern-day solutions. Regardless of how repulsive human garbage is perceived to be, that has enormous potential to change the world. With that said, these efforts can help work towards the proper utilization of human waste to prevent diseases in informal settlements while keeping the environment clean and safe.