Electricity and heat from septic tanks

Can Your Septic Tank Become a Power Plant Right in Your Own Back Yard?

It's not commonly appreciated that septic tanks are actually a potential source of energy for a home. The process of bacterial degradation of wastes produces methane gas, which is flammable and can be burned for heat and/or electricity.

Since a quarter of all homes in the United States, and uncounted millions in other nations, use septic tanks, this may have a major effect on coal, oil, natural gas and butane / propane / bottled gas usage patterns.

At present the septic-tank digestion process is not optimized for methane, and that which is generated is not used. However, scientific research by sustainability experts on this method is occuring. As fossil energy becomes more costly and less available and technology improves, it may become economical for your house to derive a part of its energy needs right from your septic tank.

Some large-scale commercial facilities, including chicken processors and municipal wastewater treatment facilities, already collect and use methane gas from the wastewater digestion process.

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Caveat: Check with your local authority before using any of these ideas.

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