Cho Jae-weon, an urban and environmental engineering professor at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), has designed an eco-friendly toilet connected to a laboratory that uses excrement to produce biogas and manure. Reuters reports: The BeeVi toilet — a portmanteau of the words bee and vision — uses a vacuum pump to send feces into an underground tank, reducing water use. There, microorganisms break down the waste to methane, which becomes a source of energy for the building, powering a gas stove, hot-water boiler and solid oxide fuel cell. An average person defecates about 500g a day, which can be converted to 50 liters of methane gas, the environmental engineer said. This gas can generate 0.5kWh of electricity or be used to drive a car for about 1.2km (0.75 miles).
Cho has devised a virtual currency called Ggool, which means honey in Korean. Each person using the eco-friendly toilet earns 10 Ggool a day. Students can use the currency to buy goods on campus, from freshly brewed coffee to instant cup noodles, fruits and books. The students can pick up the products they want at a shop and scan a QR code to pay with Ggool.