John Pirt: developer of sewage disposal system

John Pirt: developer of sewage disposal system

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Portrait of scientist John Pirt, of the Depart- ment of Life Sciences at King's College London, UK, who has discovered a sewage bacteria ("London caldoactive bacteria"), and invented a bacterial sewage disposal system. The bacteria species was isolated from horse dung; it destroys sludge at 80 degrees centigrade. The sewage disposal system has four stages: stage 1 & 3 at 80C use "caldoactive" bacteria; stage 2 & 4 at 37C use a "cold" bacteria to consume byproducts of previous stages. The end product is a clear effluent; mineral/metal waste can be recycled. Some 4kW of electricity can be generated per cubic metre of sludge. The system proves cheap to run and can be pollution free.

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Keywords: bacteriologist, john, pirt, portraits, sewage treatment, surname p

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