Using a special toilet in South Korea can get you books, fruit, and even freshly brewed coffee.
Professors at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, near the southeastern coast of the country, have designed a toilet that converts methane from one’s faeces into an energy source.
Students who use the toilet are rewarded with 10 units of digital currency called Ggool per day. Ggool, which means honey in Korean, can be used at a market on campus to buy items like bananas, stationery, and instant cup noodles, reported Reuters.
The toilet has been coined the “BeeVi”, a shortened version of “Toilet, like a Bee with a Vision,” and is meant to be an eco-friendly and sustainable device.
BeeVi uses a vacuum and a small amount of water to send poop from the toilet into an underground tank and bioreactor, prompting its creators to call it a “super water-saving vacuum toilet.”
Methane from the faeces is turned into a power source for the appliances in the building, including a gas stove, a hot-water boiler, and a fuel cell that produces electricity, said Reuters.
One of the toilet’s designers, urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon, told the wire agency that the average person’s poop for one day can power a car for three-quarters of a mile.
“If we think out of the box, faeces has precious value to make energy and manure,” said Cho.
A postgraduate student purchasing items at the Ggool market told Reuters that he now sees poop as a “treasure” because of the new toilet.
“I even talk about faeces during mealtimes to think about buying any book I want,” he said.