A collaboration between researchers at the University of West England Bristol (UWE Bristol) and Oxfam, an international organization dedicated to fighting poverty, is proving that urine might be an invaluable source of electricity in refugee camps and other impoverished areas. For decades, utilities in developed countries have derived energy from the methane found wastewater, but in areas where such complex treatment schemes are not possible, simple solutions such as a “pee-power” toilet could offer an inexpensive and desperately needed source of energy.
An international team of researchers led by engineers from the University of Toronto analyzed resource consumption data from the world’s twenty-seven largest cities. The survey, published this week, analyzed cities’ natural gas and electricity use, and waste disposal. Findings could be used to create strategies for making the worst offenders more sustainable.