By Tracy Staedter, Discovery Channel
Everybody poops. But why should it just stop there? Feces — human or other — contains methane, hydrogen and nitrogen that can be converted into energy. And while it may seem a little gross as first, converting waste into power is generally cheap and reduces greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In the not-so-distant future, don’t be surprised if you find poo providing energy in any of these places.
Explore how we will change the way we make and use energy, from basic day-to-day changes to dramatic, state-of-the-art technology.
1. Dog Parks (above)
Dog parks around the country could benefit from this prototype invention developed in Cambridge, Mass., by Artist Matthew Mazzotta. He created Park Spark, which runs park lights using dog waste. Itís simple and convenient. A dog owner uses a biodegradable bag provided to pick up her pet’s excrement. She tosses the bag into a tube, which leads to an underground digester. Microorganisms break down the organic material, and in doing so, give off methane. Next, the dog owner turns a crank, which mixes the organic material and causes the methane gas to rise up. The methane can be captured and used to produce power.
Photo Credit: Park Spark Project