Swachh India_Binge-Eating Bacteria Can Help Extract Energy From Sewage

London: Domestic sewage containing organic wastes, mainly from toilets and kitchens, may prove to be a source of energy that can be harvested by using hungry bacteria, scientists say.

“The levels of organic matter in sewage are too low to be directly recovered. We investigated how we can use bacteria to capture this material,” said Francis Meerburg from Ghent University in Belgium.

“Our approach is unique because we have developed a high-rate variation of the so-called contact-stabilisation process,” said Francis Meerburg.

“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,” said Nico Boon, from Ghent University.

“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,” Nico Boon said.

By using the contact-stabilisation process, up to 55 percent of the organic matter could be recovered from sewage.

This is a huge step forward, because the existing processes cannot recover more than 20 to 30 percent.

The researchers calculated that this amount can provide sufficient amounts of energy to completely treat sewage without the need for external electricity.

“This is an important step in the direction of wastewater treatment that is energy neutral, or even produces energy,” said Siegfried Vlaeminck, professor at Ghent University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

National Green Tribunal Orders Stricter Norms For Effluent Discharge From Sewage Treatment Plants In Cities

Perusing a report that claims that 323 out of 351 rivers in the country are polluted, the National Green Tribunal said that the water quality standards and norms are required to be stricter and must be applied to both new and existing Sewer Treatment Plants