Genetically Enhanced Bacteria Could Transform Wastewater Into Electricity

6. 21. 16 by Charmaine Caparas
Image by Shutterstock

What were you doing when you were 18-years-old? Probably not turning wastewater into electricity, but that’s just what this teen science whiz from British Columbia in Canada is doing.

Austin Wang, a Vancouver high school student, wants to turn the one billion liters of wastewater that gets flushed down toilets and sent down sink drains every day into electricity.

The 18-year-old found a way to genetically modify microorganisms so that they could clean the wastewater and generate electricity at the same time.

If proven effective, this method could possibly generate up to 600 gigawatts of energy from waste biomass. “If we get efficiencies high enough, it’s theoretically achievable,” says Wang.


An average household in the province uses around 900 kilowatt-hours per month, estimates BC Hydro. Whether or not this will actually be implemented remains to be seen, but it is an inspiring idea.

As a Futurism reader, we invite you join the Singularity Global Community, our parent company’s forum to discuss futuristic science & technology with like-minded people from all over the world. It’s free to join, sign up now!

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy


Copyright ©, Singularity Education Group All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.