Who would have thought that human waste, which is also called ‘poop’ or feces, can be recycled into other goods that are beneficial to humans? Now, you will know the human waste benefits because it can be used as raw material for plastic. How could be? Well, this is actually a sophisticated technology which is developed by Micromidas, a bioplastic product company based in Canada.
Micromidas uses technology which can convert human waste into polyester, which is also known as a plastic raw material. But this type of plastic isn’t processed into general plastic type which can’t be broken down easily and takes up to hundreds of years to decompose naturally. The plastics made of the human waste is an environment friendly plastic and can decompose naturally in a faster time.
The methods developed by Micromidas isn’t really much different from waste water treatment method in general. The difference is visible only in the final stages of processing and the addition of biotechnology at the end of the process.
In detail, the main goal of sewage treatment facilities in general is to separate liquid from solid waste in a tank. The waste with the most severe mass will settle to the bottom of tank and then it will be sent to a landfill or burned because it can’t be used as a fertilizer for non-food plants. On the other hand, Micromidas can convert 50% to 70% of the waste into plastic with special microbes ‘forces’ which help to attack the waste.
In conventional biotechnology field, the scientists can select the microbes and then these genetically engineered microbes produce new microbes to do whatever you want. That is, the genetically engineered microbes by Micromidas becomes the key to their technology development success. Whole strength of ‘microbes team’ will take the waste and then it into polyester, and if it has arrived at the time of harvest, the polyester then will be extracted in these microbes.
Micromidas CEO, John Bissel, also said that the polyester is also one of the plastic family of polyhydroxyalkanoat (PHA) and it will decompose naturally in the human body which means it’s not danger for your health. The characteristics of the bio-organic polyester also takes one and a half years to decompose naturally in the environment, depending on the thickness.
So, it is clear that until their dirtiest part though, people can create useful stuff that can be used by many other people who will then enter some stages and process it to get the best and most reasonable achievements.
Data reference: Discovery