Wastewater: A Potential Power Source
While hydropower is a commonly utilized energy source, another type of water source may become normalized. Wastewater, which is water contaminated with human, agricultural, or industrial wastes, is being increasingly used to power homes. Wastewater becomes energy when sewage treatment systems collect solid sludge, which undergoes thermal hydrolysis to maximize the amount of methane it can produce. Next, an anaerobic digester breaks down the treated waste to result in a methane-rich biogas, which can be used in place of natural gas. Not only is this method economically efficient, it also helps with emission reduction and waste management. Sludge-to-energy systems are present in the United States, China, Brazil, Argentina, and Norway, among other countries. Other organic wastes, such as yard wastes, manure, and leftover food scraps from restaurants, may be candidates for waste-to-energy systems. Read more from Breaking Energy here.