The problem of water is no secret. In India even in cities like Delhi clean potable water is a mirage. Every household is using Reverse-Osmosis machines to clean the water. This process itself is not environment friendly as the end product the plastic-filter is not bio-degradable. It appears that a new technique has been developed to extract water from human waste. Read on:
“There is a lot of energy already present in human waste. Nano-scale materials mean that you can harvest the hydrogen and turn it into hydrozene – which is basically rocket fuel.” The scientists believe that a scaffold device holding a mixture of bacteria and tiny metal nano particles will react with the water to extract useful hydrogen, with the remainder filtered again to produce clean water. Dr Haigh said: “The phrase ‘off to spend a penny’ is used in polite society to refer to a visit to the lavatory. We plan to turn this essential everyday outgoing into an investment by developing novel materials that convert natural waste into a useable resource. “This technology will be particularly important for remote locations in developing countries and will have the added benefits of reduced pollution and lower waste disposal costs.” Haigh, who working with scientists at Imperial College London and Durham University, was given an initial $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Their idea for an inexpensive fuel-producing , water cleaning device for the developing world, beat more than 2,000 other proposals. And the group stand to receive a further $1 million from the Gates next year if they can demonstrate the chemical reactions they propose can actually work. The Microsoft founder, one of the world’s richest men, has promised to sink his fortune on combating worldwide poverty. (extracted from: http://m.timesofindia.com/home/science/Device-to-turn-sewage-into-drinking-water/articleshow/12605012.cms)
While we all have had trouble squeezing through Gates’ windows but his sponsorship of such research projects certainly helps reducing all the pain of updates/bugs for over-paid softwares. Keep it up Gates, you may progress some day from windows to gateway.
© Sandeep Bhalla