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How’s your bowel movement? Steady? Temperamental? Non-existent (I worry for you)?
Either way, your poop could make life a lot more affordable if you’re a student at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea.
Thanks to a smart ‘green’ toilet that turns human excrement into biogas and manure, UNIST pupils enjoy the privilege of free, sustainable electricity to power their building. Students can also convert every use of the toilet, dubbed ‘BeeVi’, into a digital currency called ‘Ggool’ (꿀), which translates to ‘Honey’.
The BeeVi toilet, designed by UNIST professor Cho Jae-weon, shoots poop through a vacuum pump into an underground tank.
Cho Jae-weon stands next to a poop tank in Ulsan. IMAGE: Reuters
From there, the waste is then broken down into methane, which the university converts to energy to power their building. This means free power for gas stoves, hot-water boilers, and a solid oxide fuel cell.
The name of the toilet itself is a play on words – ‘bee’ and ‘vision’ – and students who contribute their poop by using the green toilets can convert their waste into the university’s own digital currency, Ggool.
BeeVi is a waterless toilet. IMAGE: UNIST / Korea Biz Wire
They can then use the Ggool they accumulate to pay for things on campus, like a cup of coffee, some hearty ramyeon, a healthy banana, and even books, just to name a few things. Each use of the BeeVi toilet will credit a student with 10 Ggool a day.
“If we think out of the box, faeces has precious value to make energy and manure. I have put this value into ecological circulation,” said Cho.
500 grams of excrement (the amount produced by the average person) can be converted into 50 liters of methane gas, according to Cho. And with 50 liters of methane, roughly 0.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity can be generated. This is enough to power a car to drive for 1.2 kilometers.
IMAGE: UNIST / Korea Biz Wire
So when you’ve got an entire university of students using the toilets, one can only imagine the amount of poop power being produced. It’s a win-win situation for both the university and its students.
“I had only ever thought that faeces are dirty, but now it is a treasure of great value to me,” said UNIST post-grad Heo Hui-jin. “I even talk about faeces during mealtimes to think about buying any book I want.”
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ที่มา : Mashable