“We plan to turn this essential everyday outgoing into an investment by developing novel materials that convert natural waste into a useable resource,” said Dr Sarah Haigh, who was working with some other scientists at Imperial College London and Durham University, and was donated an initial $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to her, the innovation could transform the lives of people in the Third World.
“There has been a lot of research into biofuels. There is a lot of energy already present in human waste. Nano-scale materials mean that you can harvest the hydrogen and turn it into hydrozene – which is basically rocket fuel.” said the researcher, expert in nanotechnology.
“Even ‘boring’ materials such as nickel or iron have quite remarkable properties and react very differently when you get to the nano-scale.
“This technology will be particularly important for remote locations in developing countries and will have the added benefits of reduced pollution and lower waste disposal costs,” added the scientist.
The team thinks it will be able to show a prototype of this interesting device within a few months.