A team of researchers rummaging through sewage around major cities have founds millions of pounds worth of gold and other previous metals in faeces.
After careful analysis of the brown matter Arizona State University researchers found a population of a million people can produce around £13 million in precious metals each year.
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The Independent reports:
It turns out our sewage is a treasure trove full of valuable elements like gold, silver, copper and platinum, according to the research published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal.
It’s not exactly clear how all that metal gets in the system but the Smithsonian suggests it may be from “mining, electroplating, electronics and jewellery manufacturing”.
While the Arizona State scientists do not estimate how costly it would be to extract this treasure, a Yale University engineer, Jordan Peccia, told Science that it could be worthwhile.
We’re not going to get rid of this sewage sludge. We need to make this push where we stop thinking about it as a liability and instead we think about it as a resource. And anything we can find in sewage sludge that’s valuable, it’s good.
Whilst we wouldn’t endorse rummaging around poop to find pieces of gold, is there a viable business model to be formed from this new research? Watch this space for poop-4-gold business’ popping up in the near future.