General Article ‘Poo power’: ​UK firm turns human waste into clean energy

Topic Selected: Energy
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A UK power company has revolutionised the supply of gas to homes in a method that extracts energy directly from human waste.

Severn Trent Water (SVT) claims to be the first power company in the UK to provide biomethane gas, created by breaking down the ‘sludge’ in Britain’s sewers. The sludge is a combination of human waste compounds and biodegradable matter.

The cocktail of waste is then cleaned and compressed, before tests ensure it performs like regular gas. Human waste can also be broken down into carbon dioxide, which can then be further refined into biomethane.

SVT, Britain’s second largest publicly traded water company, began sending the natural gas to the National Grid last week, marking the first time any kind of eco-friendly gas has been delivered for public use. The biomethane is developed in SVT’s Minworth treatment plant, a facility which cost £8.4 million (US$13.6 million) to build and can develop clean gas for over two million people.

‘Local domestic customers will be...

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