Now, gas from human waste for Canadian homes

July 22nd, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Vancouver, July 22 (IANS) Residents of the North Shore area in this Canadian city will be using gas from human waste to burn their furnaces and heat water, one of the first instances in the world when it has been used in an urban neighbourhood. The gas (or biogas) will be collected as a by-product in the processing of human waste, the Vancouver Sun reported Monday.

Quoting city officials, the paper reported that a $1.1-million project has been proposed to capture and purify biogas at the local Lions Gate sewage treatment plant.

This `purified’ gas will then be distributed through a pipeline to the users.

According to the report, the use of energy from human waste is “fairly novel on a global scale - although processes using gas from landfills and agricultural waste are well established”.

The gas produced from human waste will be almost pure methane. It’s an odourless, clean-burning heat energy source, the report said.

Over 100 homes will meet their fuel demands from the gas supply at an annual cost of $55,000.

Explaining how the biogas will be produced through “digestion” of human waste at the sewage treatment plant, the report said it will later be processed to remove impurities by using state-of-the-art technology.

The project will begin in July next year. Officials said the success of the project could be replicated elsewhere in the province later.

British Columbia province, which has a huge population of Indian-origin people, is the first in North America to impose carbon tax on fuel users.

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