Flushing the problem away

One of the ongoing arguments around the world today is if and how we can solve the problems of global warming and pollution we have created with our profligate energy use and tonnes of garbage.  

Being fundamentally optimistic, I tend to think that if we would only bring our minds and determination to bear on the problem, we would not have to resort to some of the more draconian solutions like nuclear power plants or severe cuts in populations or a return to life before the industrial revolution.

Two intriguing possibilities came to my attention this weekend.  The first is a sink/toilet arrangement where the grey water in the sink runs automatically into the toilet tank, thus saving water.  It also saves space in the bathroom.

I also saw that one of England’s water companies is setting up a project to convert sewage sludge into pellet fuel power plants.  Apparently sewage sludge is very high in methane gas, and they are already using sewage gas to run 53 of their power generation units.

We know it works because it’s been done before.  In the 1930’s, sewage gas powered the public transport systems in several German cities, including Munich.



About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
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