You could never have imagined human poop was so useful. Did you know that your urine can generate sufficient electricity given its use as a fertilizer and your poop can be recycled unto sustainable bioplastic? Like it or not, it can even be transformed into drinking water. Researchers seem to have stumbled upon another use for your poop: it can bear gold and other valuable metals. Imagine how many bucks this could save as a result.
The 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Society is the platform where the presented studies suggested that human waste comprises metals such as silver, gold and other valuable elements like vanadium and palladium. These are readily incorporated in alloy production as well as electronics. Scientists still have not been able to fully assess all the metals that it may contain. It is believed that if that comes to pass, mining for metals would not even be necessary.
It is not clear as to where these metals really come from. Potentially, they are present everywhere from our shampoos to our socks but they eventually find their way to wastewater treatments plants. Others are only exposed to chemical processes upon which they are either incinerated or dumped in landfills or made use of as fertilizers. Kathleen Smith, the lead researcher, has started a project which focuses on two purposes: removal of elements which restrict the use of such elements in forests as well as collection of elements that are capable of being sold in the industry.
Using all such elements in a controlled environment keeps the environment safe in the presence of treatment plants. The inspection done on treated waste suggests that valuable metals do exist within biosolids. Smith is determined on combining all the data gathered from U.S Geological Survey as well as that from U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Interestingly, a separate study has revealed that these metals in human waste of 1 million people are actually equivalent to $13 million. That goes to show how valuable human waste actually is, folks.