Making Waste Smell Like Money

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Admittedly, we don’t have too much of a problem with people openly defecating in public. Still, it’s possible that a new technology by Indian plastics and textiles manufacturer Sintex Industries could have some application here.

While bacteria breaks down human excrement, cow dung, or kitchen garbage into sludge in a Sintex digester, the mostly methane gas emitted by the process is piped into a storage canister. 01

Once captured, the methane gas “can be used for any natural gas application. Cooking, drying clothes, heating the home, boiling water, etc.” 02

Of course, there’s that ewwww factor to contend with. And then, there’s likely an odour problem, and that’s likely to be the biggest obstacle in any North American urban environment.

But how about a home biogas system that dispenses with human/animal waste and simply uses leftover food? The Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI) has developed a method that uses meal leftovers that have been mashed to a pulp or left to ferment for a few days and then fed to the bacteria in a digester. Besides not using dung, it’s reported to have the additional advantage of producing virtually no odour. 03

Sources:
01. 2008/02/27 – Fortune: Waste not, want not
02. 2008/02/27 – EcoGeek: Turning Poop into Fuel…
03. IndiaBiogas: Biogas from organic waste

Other Links:
Biodigester design & construction
2007/11/03 – FMBS: Landfill gas collection revenue in peril

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