For several years, farms have been using "systems" (anaerobic digesters) that turn cow manure into methane gas that is used for energy. Why not extend that idea?
Heather at Ethical Energy wrote an article about the Park Spark Project where Matthew Mazzotta created a methane gas energy source at a dog park using dog poo. It powers an overhead light at the dog park.
Dog owners tend to like other dog owners. Dogs tend to enjoy dog parks. The dog poo is there anyway. Owners use biodegradable bags to collect and deliver the raw material to the intake port on the system. The contents need to be stirred now and them. The methane gas that is released in the process is burned in the street light that enables the dog owners to use the park in the evening hours and re-cycle part of their carbon footprint. The good people at Park Spark Project want to talk with other people who would like to build a similar system in their dog park.
There is a sizeable biogas plant being built in conjunction with Flint's wastewater treatment facility. Upfront funding, expertise, and expected profits are being shared among Linkoping, Swedish Biogas International, the City of Flint, the State of Michigan, and Kettering University.
As reported by Harvest Superpowered, additional funding has been secured from Swedish Biogas International, plant construction is underway, and the operation will be processing human waste into biogas starting in 2011. The plant will also mean additional jobs for Flint.
At some point, there will be even stronger economic sense for bio-fuels. The cost of handling the bio-waste at a water treatment plant is currently paid for by tax revenue collected from water and sewer users. The cost of construction of a biofuel plant could be paid for from revenues from the energy created and sold. We will see the time when bio-fuels are a competitive source of energy.
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