Good Day World!
Researchers have been playing with poop lately and they think they’ve struck it rich.
Instead of flushing millions down the toilet, humans could be mining their poop for gold!
That's at least what some researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) think. They're looking for ways to squeeze metals like gold and silver out of solid waste.
When poop arrives at a wastewater treatment plant, it is separated into biosolids and treated water. Inevitably about half of the biosolids (3.5 million tons in the United States alone) is sent to landfills or incinerated, while the other half is used as fertilizer. [The Poop on Pooping: 5 Misconceptions Explained]
Kathleen Smith, a USGS geologist, thinks people could make more of these biosolids; they're full of tiny particles of metals that find their way into waste through beauty products, detergents and even odor-resistant clothing.
There are two good reasons to try to pull these metals out of poop, according to Smith, who's presenting her research on the subject at an American Chemical Society meeting this week. (Condensed version – read full story here)
Time for me to walk on down the road…