My friends, Jorge Calabria and Robert Bair, both Environmental Engineering Graduate Students, are working on a project which converts wastewater to nutrients, energy, and clean water. They call this project the:
NEW Generator (NEW since it converts wastewater to Nutrients, Energy, and Water)
It works using an anaerobic membrane bioreactor and you can find out more about it here. This project is led my Dr. Yeh’s research group which became a bit famous when they won a Gates Grant of $100,000 to develop a prototype of this system. Here is a Newspaper article written about them.
“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world” – Archimedes
Dr. Yeh explains his inspiration for this project:
“I keep going back to the fact there are 7 billion people on the planet,” said Yeh, citing the milestone the world’s population passed just a week ago. “It’s kind of a wake-up call.
“How are we going to make enough food? Where’s the energy going to come from? We have to stop having everything being a one-way street. We need to close the loop.”