China Transforming Fecal Sludge into Usable Biogas and Fertilizer


Published Date : Feb 02, 2015

As millions of people in China are moving to urban setting, a German engineer is convinced that the country is on its way of hitting the jackpot. How? Heinz Peter Mang is intensely focused on turning human waste into gold.

An increasing portion of toilet waste in China is being converted to fertilizer and biogas. 6,800 tons of human toilet waste in Beijing is treated each day according to some estimates, it is enough of fill almost three swimming pools of Olympic standard. In the past ten years, China’s economic growth has been driven by millions of rural workers into cities in one of the largest migration recorded in human history.

During the year 2013, the number of dwellers in urban areas crossed 731 million, which overtook the population of rural dwellers by more than 100 million. However, the fallout experienced in these scenarios was water shortage in the North and toilet waste was channeled into rivers in the South.

This has forced city planners to get more inventive in dealing with this waste and drawn engineers like Heinz Mang to help refine existing model. The push to recycle human toilet waste into usable energy or fertilizer is expanding throughout China. The engineer Mang is advocating for this model to be replicated in other parts of the world as well.

According to Credit Suisse, the catch up of waste treatment from the low penetration rates in the country China is pushing towards a waste revolution, in which the key treatment operators will likely grow to 200 to 400 per cent in volume in the next five years