Managing human waste: Japanese enterprise

The Japanese are highly imaginative when it comes to finding good uses for human waste.

Brick house

The Fujimi Tile Company of Nagoya, Japan, has invented a process for manufacturing bricks from a clay comprising sewage sludge ash, ceramic raw materials and recycled tile debris. It’s moulded and baked into a highly porous brick that lets water seep into the ground, eliminating the need for drainage systems.

Poo burger

Scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda has developed a low-carbon, low-fat meat alternative from proteins extracted from sewage sludge. While this seems unlikely to take off, the scientist thinks some environmentally responsible diners will be keen to close the consumption loop.

Poo power

This three-wheeled prototype motorcycle is powered by poo – biogas generated from livestock waste and household wastewater. The waste and water go through a fermentation process to create methane, which is then purified to make biogas. The prototype motorcycle demonstrates the possibilities of using excrement as a fuel source, but is only for show. Fortunately, so is the toilet seat: the vehicle doesn’t require the rider’s excrement for fuel!


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This post is also available in: French, Spanish