ULSAN, April 7 (Korea Bizwire) – The Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) is creating an independent laboratory specializing in the production of gas by breaking down human excrement. As the gas produced is actually used to power heat sources for homes, the project is attracting attention.
After the researchers do their ‘number twos’, a device under the toilet instantly dries the stool and turns it into a powder.
The methane and carbon dioxide produced are stored separately, with the methane gas being used to heat water as well as the laboratory.
Carbon dioxide is moved into another tank and becomes food for algae. Once the algae are fully grown, they sink to the bottom of the tank. Around 40 percent of their matter consists of fat, which can be extracted and used to make bio-diesel and used as fuel for vehicles.
In other words, the laboratory is a place where fuel is produced from human stool.
The exterior of the laboratory is also unique.
The floor of the dodecahedral laboratory is a hexagon. It is a two story building with a bathroom and circulation facility on the first floor, and exhibit and lounge on the second floor.
Rain water is naturally filtered by trees on the roof and sent to the laboratory. The gathered water is filtered and used as drinking water.
Professor Cho Jae-won, who is pushing the project forward, is planning for even more. “The laboratory itself is interesting, but we are trying to use stool as a currency,” he says.
In other words, human excrement could be the currency used to buy gas and oil at the lab. An application that measures the value of human stool is being developed, and is almost complete.
The laboratory will be completed this month, and will open to the public in May.
By Francine Jung (email@example.com)