Throughout the world, there are two major problems facing humanity: clean water and sustainable energy. And a new device may be able to solve both issues in one fell swoop.
Called the NEWgenerator, this device was created by associate professor of engineering at the University of South Florida Daniel Yeh. By filtering waste water and sewage into clean water, the generator simultaneously generates power and extracts nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater, which can be used as fertilizer.
The way it works is the NEWgenerator mimics a miniature wastewater treatment plant, minus the energy-intensive aeration tanks that blow air to break down pollutants and chemicals. By harnessing the power of anaerobic microorganisms, the process eliminates the need for oxygen, causing organic material to turn into biogas, which then generates electricity. The NEWgenerator can run completely on its own when coupled with solar panels.