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7 Places Poo Will Power the Future (Slideshow)

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7 Places Poo Will Power the Future (Slideshow)

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

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Environment, Green, Materials & Architecture, Nature, Technology, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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1:15AM PDT on Nov 2, 2014

Live long and prosper

2:04AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

That could be a real breakthrough for inner city dog parks.Some might even be more inspired to Actually clean up after their pet. But are these Park Sparks going to be safe from wandering hooligans?

2:59PM PDT on Sep 19, 2012


8:17AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

sometimes dog owners don't bother picking up after their dogs, great idea especially in nyc...hopefully one day they can build conversion areas like litter boxes in the sidewalk where dogs go to poo.

9:26PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Some innovative ideas, like the idea in the dog park. Thanks for haring

5:27PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you.

5:27PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you.

12:44AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you for the interesting post.

4:13PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012


9:48AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

This morn, it is raining and it seems that Care2 will be for me, my momentary relief form the dreary weather.

I sit here with my original copy of Ram Bux Singh's Bio-Gas Plant, "Generating Methane from Organic Waste." I have had this book for 37 years, I will never let it go.

We are always trying to reduce costs for heating our 3 greenhouses, last winter was horrific as per cost for propane. A Bio-gas Unit will be a perfect fit.
Solar Modules and our Wind Turbine provide our electricity, and Solar Panels provide much of our heating.

I have built many Bio-Gas units in the past, so building a new one should be easy and fun.

Recently, I finished my ethanol distiller. While I will not run either one of my mint condition, Suzuki Samurai's entirely on this fuel, I will run 50/50 blend. So, I can save all the methane produced to be used for the greenhouses.

Since gasoline is currently priced at about $3.50/gallon, this production will bring it down to about $2.00/gallon.

If current events continue, you may well have to join us in seeking your own sense of energy independence.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

good tips

I think it is the right direction! Yes, McDonalds as a company is still not healthy for this planet …

Thanks for sharing

I learned most of these through trial and error . . . oh, so many errors!


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