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A Bacteria That Eats Human Sewage, Also Produces Rocket Fuel

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posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 11:01 PM
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A new fuel source is found. A human feces eating bacteria, that could be deployed into sewage treatment plants, that uses no oxygen OR costly sewage churning equipment, also produces ROCKET FUEL!!!!
 



news.nationalgeographic.com
Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News

November 9, 2005
The high cost of treating human wastewater may one day tank thanks to a bacterium that eats ammonia and produces rocket fuel.
Standard water treatment plants use oxygen-hungry bacteria to break down human waste. To feed the microbes, plants must aerate sewage sludge with costly, power-hogging equipment.
But Brocadia anammoxidans, or anammox bacteria, survive without oxygen, producing energy from nitrite and ammonia, which is found naturally in human waste.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Now if they could only figure out how to harness this into automobile usage. Everyone keep your fingers crossed. Maybe, one day, not too far in the future, people with septic tanks, may be able to harvest their own fuel for all their own sources. This may be a possibility for a new renewable fuel source. I bet those bigwigs from OPEC might be a little scared. Not to mention, it would really put a damper on all of "Big Oil's" political ties

[edit on 17-11-2005 by asala]




posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 11:22 PM
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Hmm... that sure would put a new spin on "Corporations feeding us crap".

I have to admit, this is pretty cool news. I always wanted to have a cheap source of rocket fuel. Although I had no idea it would come from my septic tank. As the author said, if this could be used for automobiles we'd be in a lot of luck.



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 11:35 PM
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You need to read the article. A new fuel source has not been found. The bacteria produce hydrazine, which is rocket fuel, but the bacteria must use the hydrazine to live, so it cannot be extracted, at least, not yet. The real story here is that before these bacteria were discovered, it was believed that hydrazine was a man-made substance and, more importantly, the bacteria could have a profound effect on human waste management and the global environment.



"They are the only organism on Earth that produces hydrazine, so until their discovery, [hydrazine] was thought to be a man-made substance," Strous said.

[...]

But don't expect the bacteria to supply NASA with rocket fuel to launch a spacecraft.

[...]

Instead, researchers are harnessing the bacteria for more down-to-Earth applications, such as sewage treatment.

[...]


More sewage treatment plants could benefit human health. They could also reduce global amounts of ammonia from untreated waste.

Excessive ammonia can wreak havoc with freshwater ecosystems by reacting with oxygen, tying up the gas, which many species need for respiration.

nationalgeographic.com




[edit on 2005/11/12 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 11:38 PM
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The article says:



But don't expect the bacteria to supply NASA with rocket fuel to launch a spacecraft.

"It costs [the bacteria] a lot of energy, and they get return on their investment by consuming it again," Strous explained. "They are dependent on it, so it can't be removed."


So this really isn't a source for rocket fuel.

edit: oops, Grady beat me to it.

[edit on 11/12/2005 by djohnsto77]



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 12:21 AM
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It's still a good thing even if it isn't a source for rocket fuel. It sounds like it will be a great energy saver in human waste management. With increasing human waste and decreasing energy recources, things like this may become essential over time. The only question I have is, will you see outhouses entering low earth orbit 'cause someone threw a cigarette down the crapper?



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:12 AM
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The point is not wether this specific bug can produce rocket fuel it's what we can learn from it's molecular and genetic structure(as well as proteamic makeup etc etc etc) we may be able to Bioengineer one that produces surplus much more efficiently. It could also give us hints on how the whole process works overall as well.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 08:26 AM
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Indeed, whatever genes are permiting the bug to make the hydrazine, its possible that these genes could be inserted into another bug, one that won't also digest the hydrazine. Biotechnology is going to be big time important in the future, even more important than it is now. This article is really interesting because its also an example of bio-remediation, using bugs and the like to clean contaminated areas.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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Or, if you could engineer a form of the bactieria that still consumes the hydrazine, but also secretes some into its surroundings. You know, this story makes sense when you think about all of the nitrates in waste. I read once that a couple of latin-American countries were fighting over an area rich in nitrates from centuries of bird droppings. They are used for explosives, gunpowder, etc.



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