Why are these toilets paying you in cryptocurrency?

In South Korea, at the instigation of one of the researchers, a university campus has been equipped with rather unusual toilets. By choosing to earn their large commission in these toilets, the users receive a fee in cryptocurrency. Is it a joke or a real project?

Toilets that pay in “Ggool”

On July 9, 2021, the Reuters news agency mentioned toilets called BeeVi that reward people in cryptocurrency. This is a very original project set up by Cho Jae-weon, urban planner and environmental researcher at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea).

So by choosing these toilets instead of the usual ones, people get a payment in a cryptocurrency named Ggool. This virtual money can then be used to buy books, food, etc. on the university campus.

crypto toilet
Credit: Cho Jae-weon/Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology

Great ecological value

Cho Jae-weon recalled that feces are of great value for the production of manure, but also for energy. He therefore indicated that he had simply come up with the idea to place this value in an ecological circuit. After completing their assignment, the users see their “production” being evacuated with a vacuum pump towards an underground reservoir. The droppings are converted into manure and methane. Cho Jae-weon explained that methane was used to power supply of various electrical appliances; and we imagine that the manure ends up in the fields of the region. We must also underline the significant water savings that can be achieved.

You should know that even on a small scale, the reprocessing of faeces is certainly not negligible. Cho Jae-weon believes that everyone expels about 500 grams of stool per day. However, this amount can be converted into fifty liters of methane, enough to generate 0.5 kWh or drive a vehicle for 1.2 km. So we could consider much larger quantities if this kind of concept were ever found. at the heart of large-scale diffusion. In the meantime, Cho Jae-weon is very satisfied with his innovation, he has always seen stools as something dirty. Today it does indeed give them great ecological value.

This isn’t the only amazing toilet-related project that Duke University (USA) recently presented smart toilets that can analyze stool. The target? Take images of feces in sewer systems for analysis. According to the project leaders, this data can make it possible to monitor and manage chronic gastrointestinal health problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.