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Crud-to-crude: The global potential of biofuels made from human waste

Creating liquid biofuels from human waste shows promise as a way to meet one of alternative energy’s greatest challenges: reducing the transportation sector’s heavy carbon footprint. The good news is there is a steady supply stream where waste is treated.

Australia's first biosolids gasification plant

Human waste turned into renewable energy at Australia's first biosolids gasification plant

A council in Australia opens the first biosolids gasification plant in the Southern Hemisphere, which turns human waste into renewable energy, at Logan, south of Brisbane.
Potentially toxic algae already being seen in Florida river. And it could get worse

Potentially toxic algae already being seen in Florida river. And it could get worse

Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, a potentially toxic algae is showing itself earlier than usual in the vast St. Johns River that stretches through 12 Florida counties.

The business turning sewage sludge into fuel.

When anaerobic digestion takes place, organic materials – think food waste – are broken down by microorganisms in an oxygen free environment, producing biogas.

When anaerobic digestion takes place, organic materials – think food waste – are broken down by microorganisms in an oxygen free environment, producing biogas.

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An Indian court says glaciers and rivers are 'living entities.' Could the same approach work in the US?

The Gangotri and Yamunotri glaciers have retreated thousands of feet in the past few decades. Indian judges have moved aggressively to protect them.

Just weeks after a high court in the Indian state of Uttarakhand granted legal personhood to the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, the same court recently extended that same standing to the Gangotri and Yamunotri glaciers that feed them. 

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Northwest scientists turn sewage into jet fuel.

Using a technique called hydrothermal liquefaction, researchers based in Richland, Washington, have figured out how to transform sewage sludge into a biocrude that can be processed at conventional petroleum refining plants and turned into gasoline, diesel or jet fuel.

There are a lot of reasons to feel crappy about America right now — the fact that we just took a yuuge step back on climate action among them. But here’s a bright spot: Soon, we may be able to turn America’s crap into fuel for cars, trucks and even airplanes.

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Toyota is using sewage sludge to power its new electric car.

For unlimited clean energy, Toyota’s turning to one of the dirtiest places there is: the toilet.

Highest of tech; powered by human waste. (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

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