Powerful sewage

US researchers have developed a new technology that can turn raw sewage and other organic waste into raw power. Bruce Logan and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University built a microbial fuel cell that generates electricity by cleaning up wastewater. The device could offer developing countries a way to bring sanitation to remote areas and provide much-needed cheap energy. Logan's microbial fuel cell could treat waste from animal farms and food processing plants and might even find use on manned space missions. "The application to wastewater treatment is an excellent example of looking at wastes as a resource while they are being treated," David Bagley of the University of Toronto told us.