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The Water in Your Toilet Could Fight Climate Change One Day

How waste water might one day serve an even more valuable role

Day after day, you pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, whether you’re driving or turning on lights or eating meat. You can’t help it, because, really, no human can. But I bet you haven’t stopped to think about how the simple act of pooping is also part of the problem: Worldwide, wastewater treatment facilities account for 3 percent of electricity consumption and contribute 1.6 percent of emissions.

A drop in the horrifying bucket that is climate change, you might say. But researchers are beginning to explore how we might tweak wastewater treatment technology to capture CO2 instead of emitting it, as a way to slow the ravages of climate change. If their plan works out, at least our poop can be guilt-free.

Currently, the stuff you flush in the toilet or send down the drain ends up in a facility, along with liquid waste from industries like beer or wine making. All that organic matter sits in open-air tanks where microbes feed on it. They munch on the waste and release CO2 as a byproduct, and the facility then pumps the relatively clean (but far from drinkable) water out to sea.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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