Stuff We Need: The ultimate dung beetle

So, I have to say, as much as the idea of poo-power makes me a little squeamish, biomethane currently makes more sense to me as a renewable energy source than any other I’ve read about. When you think of just how much bio waste we humans and our livestock produce, when you consider how much carbon dioxide is released by all that waste, the idea of combating global warming by using this waste for fuel and energy production is nothing short of poetic.

From Daily Mail:

A car powered by methane gas has been created by a team of British engineers.

The vehicle named the ‘Bio-Bug’ is run reliably on biogas, which is produced from human waste at sewage works across the country.

Excrement flushed down the toilets of just 70 homes is enough to power the pioneering VW Beetle car for 10,000 miles – the equivalent of one average motoring year.

I still don’t like that this VW Beetle requires regular unleaded gas to start the vehicle and warm up the system before the methane is used, and I’d like to know more about the refinement process for the methane, particularly how much energy is needed to refine the biomass into methane, are there any toxic chemicals used, and are there any hazardous waste products.

And yet, if we can develop a closed loop system along these lines it could possibly be the greatest human accomplishment to-date.

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