China’s mad bacteriologists are at it again, this time producing what’s been described as a “bioweapon” against the most unrelenting and unpleasant of odors that is the ever-lurking ‘bathroom smell’.
The odor-fighting properties come from a bacteria in the Lactobacillus family, which we have to thank for the production of yogurt, cheese, beer and chocolate.
Lactobacillus feeds on human waste and releases lactic acid that stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria. According to SCMP, up to 75 percent of odors can be removed when treated with the bacteria, applied in either liquid or powder form, while the rest is suppressed by ‘a natural, pleasant fragrance’.
The “smell-free toilet” study was highlighted on the academy’s website last month as offering an “ultimate” cure to an “urgent” national issue.
Dr Yan Zhiying, a bacteriologist with the academy’s Chengdu Institute of Biology and lead scientist on the project, said tourists in Sichuan province would be the first to benefit from the technology.
The province is home to numerous tourist attractions, including the Jiuzhai Valley National Park, which plans to introduce the smell-killing germs to its public toilets.
“They will get a refreshing experience,” Yan said.
Best of all, with a half-liter bottle costing only around 20 yuan a pop, its use can be extended to even the dankest, darkest and most neglected of bathroom facilities. The technology could likewise be applied to animal farms, dump yards and all places that otherwise reek.
If the technology were to be applied nationwide, the Chinese Academy of Science says it could produce 1,200 tones of the powder a year.
Assuming that efforts to fully wipe out China’s chronic smog may never be fully realized, we can’t decide which crucial in-the-works technology the government should be investing all of its money into right now; this or invisibility cloaks.