Converting Waste Toilet Paper Into Electricity. Water Online, September 12, 2017.
First techno-economic analysis of the ultimate waste recycling concept
Chemists at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Sustainable Chemistry research priority area, together with colleagues from the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development of Utrecht University, have published the first techno-economic analysis of converting waste toilet paper into electricity.
In the journal Energy Technology, they propose a two-step process and calculate a cost per kWh comparable to that of residential photovoltaic installations.
Waste toilet paper (WTP) is not often considered an asset. In fact, most people usually prefer not to think about it at all. Yet it is a rich source of carbon, containing 70–80 wt% of cellulose on a dry basis.
On average, people in Western Europe produce 10–14 kg waste toilet paper per person per year. Accumulating in municipal sewage filters, it is a modest yet significant part of municipal waste.
The ultimate waste has a negative cost
At the same time, waste toilet paper is a businessman’s dream because it is one of the few raw materials with a negative cost. While this may vary across countries and regions, in the Netherlands wastewater treatment facilities pay around 70 €/ton to get rid of WTP. It is therefore an extremely attractive resource since people will actually pay you to take it off their hands.
Read the complete article.