Video

Vancouver teen has a plan to turn waste water into electricity

Austin Wang, a high school student from Vancouver who’s won numerous science awards, came up with a way to genetically modify micro-organisms so that they could clean waste water and generate electricity at the same time.

'Canadians are extremely wasteful,' says 18-year-old Austin Wang

Vancouver teen Austin Wang's brilliant idea won him the prestigious Intel Science Fair. 6:57

A Vancouver high school student thinks he knows what to do with the one billion litres of waste water that gets flushed down toilets and sent down sink drains every day in the Greater Vancouver Area.

Austin Wang, who's won numerous science awards, came up with a way to genetically modify micro-organisms so that they could clean the waste water and generate electricity at the same time.

"Canadians are extremely wasteful," says the 18-year-old who loves to play basketball and the piano. "On average, we're worse than Americans."

His 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.

Watch more about Austin's plan to turn waste water into electricity in the video above.

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