Ghana’s parliament recently set a mandate to derive 10% of the nation’s energy from alternative sources by 2020 – and the country is turning to poo power to meet the quota! Called into action by green energy advocate Kwabena Otu-Danquah, the poo power will be harvested from the tons of sewage that the nation reportedly dumps into the ocean. The methane produced by the sewage will be converted into clean—if stinky—energy.
Ghana’s capital, Accra, sees one thousand tons of raw sewage dumped into its waters each day- polluting the ocean with poop. Now, thanks to advocates like Out-Danquah, the country will build its first raw sewage-guzzling biodiesel plant. The septic sludge will be pumped into the plant, and heated to release the valuable methane. Derived solely from human waste, the decomposing organic slop not only releases gas, but can now be transformed into liquid fuels that can be used more readily to power generators and turbines.
Biodiesel is a hot commodity for renewable energy seekers, but sources like algae and soybean oil can be pricey. Human waste is just that- waste- and therefore much cheaper to supply. One liter of poop-derived lipids racks up just $0.03, while soybean lipids can cost around $0.80! Not to mention that the cheap poop supply also has double value, but diverting thousands of tons of raw sewage from the city’s waters.
Local company Waste Enterprisers are heading the biofuel quest, with $1.5 million in backing funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The entire project could not only help Ghana achieve green power goals, but also help clean up their existing environment.
Via Fast Co