A waste-to-energy generator has been unveiled by a US-based startup to make the simple task of turning water into electricity more palatable.
The Eco-Storium, which is based in the US, has a range of designs including a water-powered toilet that purifies water into water-soluble fertilizer and an electric-powered generator that generates electricity.
It has a battery which runs for 10 hours a day and can produce energy from a water source such as rain, snow or rainwater.
The company is launching the first electric-power plant in the world that will use waste water from wastewater treatment plants, which are an increasingly popular source of clean energy.
The unit, called Eco-Surface, uses a mix of recycled water and wastewater from wastewater plants to make electricity, which the company says can provide electricity for about 15 minutes a day.
“It’s a water harvesting system and is going to provide electricity, but not necessarily for the whole day,” said Michael Sibbitt, a partner at the company.
“We’re going to capture a little bit of it and turn it into electricity.
That’s what we’ve been working on and the first prototype has shown promise.”
Mr Sibbin said the company was now seeking funding to build a larger scale prototype.
“I think there’s some great potential,” he said.
“There’s a lot of potential out there.
You’ve got water from rainwater that you can turn into electricity.”
Mr Bish was keen to stress the company’s focus on using water from treatment plants.
“When we start to use water that’s produced from treatment, we don’t have any water that is produced from sewage.”
So we’re going for water that comes from a treatment plant that’s been treated for a long time and is ready for reuse.
“Our hope is that we can get to a point where the wastewater we use in our process will be recycled.”
The company says the Eco-Surface can produce enough electricity to run an average household for a week.
A similar system in South Africa, where a waste-water-treatment plant can use up to 30% of its electricity generation capacity, can use as much as 40% of the power produced.
In the US there is a growing interest in water recycling.
A new company called SRC is developing an eco-hydro power plant, which uses recycled water from water treatment plants and can generate electricity when the water is pumped into a generator.
Mr Sibiitt said he was optimistic the EcoStorum could become the norm in the future.
“Right now, most people in the United States are either using solar panels or battery-powered devices, but we are seeing a significant shift towards battery-based devices,” he explained.
“In terms of energy storage, we are looking at an increasing number of devices that are batteries that are designed to store energy and use that energy for the future.”