Washington – Human feces contains gold and other precious metals that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, experts say, reports AFP. Now the trick is how to retrieve them — a potential windfall that could also help save the planet. “The gold we found was at the level of a minimal mineral deposit,” said Kathleen Smith, of the US Geological Survey, after her team discovered metals such as platinum, silver and gold in treated waste.
A recent study by another group of experts in the field found that waste from one million Americans could contain as much as $13 million worth of metals. Finding a way to extract the metals could help the environment by cutting down on the need for mining and reducing unwanted release of metals into the environment. Smith and her team are on a mission to find out exactly what is in our waste. “We have a two-pronged approach,” said Smith. “In one part of the study, we are looking at removing some regulated metals from the biosolids that limit their use for land application.“In the other part of the project, we’re interested in collecting valuable metals that could be sold, including some of the more technologically important metals, such as vanadium and copper that are in cell phones, computers and alloys.”