If you’ve been brainstorming the most creative ways to heat your home without using millions of watts of expensive energy, a company called OriginOil might have you beat. They’re currently working on a project that uses toilet wastewater as a source for heating apartment buildings.
The Los Angeles-based start-up company is working on a pilot program using an urban algae farm concept. Wastewater in apartment buildings nourishes the growth of algae, which is then processed to make heat. The company is working on this in an attempt to prove that integrating algae production into large building complexes will help bring their energy use down to zero.
According to OriginOil, algae farms and photobioreactors can harvest on apartment rooftops, or even along the sides of high-rise buildings. If this proves successful, they could become pretty competition for solar panels, but that would be no mean feat (see recent post: ‘Rooftop Solar’ Could Be Reality For 100 Million Americans By 2021).
However, this algae system does have additional beneficial features that stack up nicely in comparison to solar panels. Algae absorbs carbon dioxide and has the unique ability to filter out pharmaceuticals from toilet water. This all means you could dump your toilet water into the algae panels, creating clean water and a warm home. That just makes every other filtration and energy system seem pretty darn crappy.
How would you feel about heating your apartment with toilet water and algae?