TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A new research indicated that sewage contains a source of energy that can be harvested by using hungry bacteria.

Domestic sewage contains various organic substances, mainly from toilets and kitchens. These are harmful to the environment, but also contain energy. Researchers from Ghent University discovered how to efficiently extract this energy from the wastewater.

"The levels of organic matter in sewage are too low to be directly recovered. We investigated how we can use bacteria to capture this material. Our approach is unique because we have developed a high-rate variation of the so-called contact-stabilization process," researcher Dr. Francis Meerburg said.

By using the contact-stabilization process, up to 55% of the organic matter could be recovered from sewage. This is a huge step forward, because the existing processes cannot recover more than 20 to 30%.

The researchers calculated that this amount can provide sufficient amounts of energy to completely treat sewage without the need for external electricity.

"This is an important step in the direction of wastewater treatment that is energy neutral, or even produces energy," said Professor Siegfried Vlaeminck.