Mini Treatment Plant Putting Sewers To Good Use

As the planet is hastily running short of natural resources, communities are looking to waste as an asset. Anything from biochar to human excrement are now staples in energy production. To bring everything together, engineers have created the NEWgenerator, which processes materials found in sewage.

First, the waste is fed into a bioreactor, where anaerobic microorganisms break down the solids and produce biogas.

The methane produced is chemical-free and perfect for cooking and heating. To complete the cycle, USF engineers have also made the most of liquid and solid waste.

The water that passes through is… disinfected with chlorine, and while the end result is probably still not drinkable, it’s clean enough to use to flush the toilets in the block or irrigate crops.

The remainder of the waste can be used as fertilizer. So far, the system is testing waters in India and South Africa. Each device is usable for up to 100 people a day, with future versions projected to reach thousands. Considering that millions are without access to basic amenities, the NEWgenerator is a game-changer for marginalized communities.

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Are Solar Blocks The New Solar Panels?

With the emergence of solar farms such as the Panda Power Plant in China, new methods of harvesting power are also manifesting. Tesla has engineered the solar roof, but the University of Exeter is not stopping there. We may now have the option to replace exterior walls with solar blocks made of glass.

Known as Solar Squared, the transparent blocks contain multiple optical elements that each focus incoming sunlight onto an individual solar cell. All of the cells within each block are linked together, and the blocks themselves can in turn be wired to one another, ultimately feeding into the building’s electrical grid or a battery.

Users can choose to have the block tinted to avoid overheating. They also provide quality thermal insulation, much better than that of a traditional glass block.

Build Solar is still conducting preliminary commercial testing. If successful, Solar Squared could be seeing the light of day (pun completely intended) as early as next year.

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