There was big news at the G20 Summit in Japan this past June. The Hydrogen Council reported to representatives from 19 nations and the European Union at the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.” It forecasted that hydrogen could replace 18% of the world’s total energy needs by 2050. On the heels of that announcement came a more specific one from the German company Graforce. The Berlin-based company shared that it has the technology to make even more hydrogen than that—from animal and human waste. Graforce technicians say they can turn the nastiest of pollutants into a valuable and clean source of energy. That’s right. Poop has the potential to power the world.
Graforce says it has figured out how to inexpensively and efficiently produce hydrogen from manure. Hydrogen is the most common chemical element in the universe. With an atomic mass of 1, “H” is the simplest and first element listed on the Periodic Table—a literal building block of God’s creation! In nature, hydrogen is part of just about everything, including water. It’s found combined with other elements. For example, water is a chemical compound. A molecule of water consists of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen—H2O. When hydrogen is pulled apart from other elements, it becomes a great energy source. Scientists have been changing water into hydrogen for quite some time now. (See “Emissions-Free Green Boat.”) So where does manure fit into the process?
Feces-polluted water, such as sewage, contains many more hydrogen-containing compounds than clean water. Graforce puts such dirty water through a process called plasmalysis. Plasmalysis splits chemical compounds into individual atoms. Then, the atoms rebond into new compounds, leaving behind hydrogen and purified water in the process. The hydrogen can be mixed with methane for use in natural gas vehicles. It can also power plants to reduce carbon emissions.
Wait! Waste-free water and energy can be produced from manure? It appears so!
These days, manure gets a pretty bad rap. It’s blamed for contaminating soil and groundwater. Manure-producing livestock are considered by many to contribute harm to the environment. But if readily available manure can be recycled efficiently into clean and renewable energy—that’s a major game-changer!
Making electricity from what you flush! God really has a purpose for everything! He gives even our most unwanted “waste” the potential for power, from the tiniest atom in all His great universe!
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. — Hebrews 11:3