Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Zoo claims poo is gold

For most pet owners, pet feces more commonly known as pet poo, is a by-product of sharing their lives with non-humans. They poop. You scoop and then it's into the trash can, however, the Toronto Zoo has devised a plan whereby they are turning animal feces into fuel.

Talk about recycling.

The zoo currently shares its premises with 5,000 residents and it is proposing to erect a plant to convert animal and food waste into biogas using bacteria.

According to Wikipedia, Biogas typically refers to a gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas originates from biogenic material and is a type of biofuel. Now you know.

"These bacteria are going to have a feast on this stuff, this feces that would have gone to waste and put the methane straight up into the air, and they're going to produce more methane quickly that we can use to shove through a generator and produce electricity," said zoo curator David Ireland. "This stuff is gold."

Read the rest of the story here: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/081115/canada/toronto_zoo_poo_1

What's more the the zoo believes it could produce enough fuel to cover its own needs as well as those of a few thousand homes. They estimate the cost of building a facility to convert the poo into fuel would be $13 million to building, it could (always that darn word!) make money back in 5 years selling the end result being electricity.

Energy produced from cow manure at an Ottawa Valley dairy farm won a $50,000 innovation award from the Ontario government last year.

So far there have been no news reports of studies concerning the conversion of cat or dog poo being converted into fuel. Now that would be innovative!

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