Can you imagine creating energy by going to the bathroom? In one university in South Korea, they invented a toilet that will convert human feces into clean energy and also provide students with a digital currency reward for using the toilet. The BeeVi toilet (short for Bee-Vision) was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST).

The toilet saves students energy and money

The BeeVi toilet helps save water, electricity and students’ money. The faeces travel to a special tank underground, so water consumption is reduced. There are microorganisms in the tank that break down the feces into methane. Methane can power many appliances that are important for life on campus.

“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”

A useful invention

Each student produces about a pound of feces a day, Cho said. This amount of feces can produce up to 50 liters of methane gas. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day. Cho also invented the virtual currency Ggol (meaning honey in Korean), which rewards students for using the toilet.

Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day. For example, students can buy books or food for this virtual currency. This idea will allow students to think more about saving resources and how easy it is to produce clean energy.


Image cedit: screenshot