There’s one enormous advantage to sewage as an energy source, it never stops. It’s an essentially an unlimited resource as it just keeps on coming. 

So how much are we talking about? With over seven billion humans inhabiting the world, about one million tons are produced daily worldwide. 

There is one company that has taken action to rescue poo from the dump.

I talked to Andrew Foote recently. He is a co-founder of Sanivation, a Kenya-based recycler that has perfected a process for drying sewage sludge and mixing it with biomass (sawdust for example) to create a charcoal briquette-like fuel.

The company just opened a new poo-to-power treatment plant built in partnership with the local public-owned utility provider. The goal of the plant is to showcase how sanitation can be done effectively, even in rapidly urbanizing communities, when partners collaborate and prioritize resource recovery. 

The plant will serve over 10,000 people. Even just at this scale, it will cover all operational costs, turning waste treatment from a cost center to a revenue generator, by producing and selling 100 tons monthly of biomass fuel that replaces firewood. That’s another benefit. Less deforestation in a developing country that relies on tourism for a portion of its livelihood is good thing.

Remarkably, Sanivation has already secured clients for all of the fuel the plant will produce and customers are asking for more!

So what’s next? Andrew is planning to scale up another plant to serve 80,000 people.