How Much Energy Can You Produce By Burning Your Poop?

Heroes don’t wear capes or masks or carry complicated gadgets. They may, however, have secret identities which they carry in the middle of the night.

One such group of men were the “night soil” men of the late 19th century who would fill carts with human excrement in the middle of the night, so that they could politely transport our poop to unknown places without us turning up our noses at the strong stench of our sins.

It turns out our “sins” carry a power to behold as for centuries human excrement has been used for as a fertilizer in China, India and Japan and despite concerns of traces of heavy metals and toxic substances, the US has been using millions of tons of processes human poop as fertilizer on farms and forests.

But that’s not all. Our major concern in the modern world is energy and we are always limited on energy when compared to exponential growth in our population.

What makes our poop so suitable for energy? It turns out that it mainly contains 75% water, dead or living bacteria, fats, salts, protein, fiber and some other things related to our entrails.



But the main component of poop is carbohydrates which are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Our body burns carbohydrates by a resplendent supply of oxygen to produce thermal energy, carbon dioxide and water.

Some calculations are necessary here to prove that poop is a good source to energy. The daily amount of our poop weighs at least 25 grams out of which 7.5 grams are carbohydrates. According to biochemistry, one gram of carbohydrates produces 14.2 kilojoules of energy. Therefore, 7.5 grams of sugary poop will yield 106.5 kilojoules of energy while 7.5 grams of coal will yield at least 220 kilojoules of energy.giphy-energy

But considering the fact that we have to painstakingly dig up coal with the blood and sweat of laborers while we can obtain much more energy if the poop of 7.125 billion people is utilized properly. That would amount to 277 trillion kilojoules of energy per year.

Which is just enough to power 5.6% of homes in the US, while not considering the fact that it will lead to an increase in carbon emissions. So, unfortunately, poop energy is not a clean source to meet our energy requirements.

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