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Yamaha Unveils Golf Cart Powered By Cow Dung

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the thirty-miles-per-pound dept.

Earth 78

Jessica Mischner writes "You've seen cars powered by the sun, wind and biofuels — but a vehicle propelled by dung? Yamaha just unveiled the first one at a golf course in Japan. The experimental golf cart doesn't run on cow dung directly — the poo is processed into biofuel which is then converted into methane — but it represents a huge leap forward for green innovations."

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Pointless (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679415)

How often do you see cow dung on a golf course? If they really wanted to make a useful "green" golf cart, they would power it with the most abundant resources present on golf courses: beer farts and impotent rage.

Re:Pointless (2, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679537)

How often do you see cow dung on a golf course?

Duh! That's because it's eaten by the gold carts!

(If gas keeps going up again, expect a barn raising on the 9th hole soon.)

Re:Pointless (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679761)

Or for that matter- one of my "thought inventions" that I really should patent- a porta-potty fuel cell with blades for methane and ammonia and a miniature self-contained composting system. It occurs to me golf carts and boats would be obvious uses.

Re:Pointless (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685841)

Instead, look up the "bason", a type of composting toilet which could easily be converted to capture methane. What you want has existed for hundreds of years and does not require any power, only patience.

Re:Pointless (2, Funny)

auric_dude (610172) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679791)

No shit, Sherlock.

Re:Pointless (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687847)

Not shit! Energy!

Re:Pointless (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679833)

not only this, they probably also spent a tremendous amount of money for the "research", money gathered from bribing some sheik and agreeing to give some billion dollars from the tax payers more for some billion (metric) tons of oil for... actually themselves, because you have to be an "impotent beer fart" to drive a 5 (metric) tone car just for yourself... and that because you weigh 300 (american) pounds for your (american) 5 feet. But, hey, at least you try, golf is known to be an intensive sport, proven by another research to burn your calories. Ah, at least you get to show that you're an asshole to other assholes. And the answer to the obvious question is: "no, I really don't envy them"

Re:Pointless (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679855)

not only this, they probably also spent a tremendous amount of money for the "research", money gathered from bribing some sheik and agreeing to give some billion dollars from the tax payers more for some billion (metric) tons of oil for... actually themselves, because you have to be an "impotent beer fart" to drive a 5 (metric) tone car just for yourself... and that because you weigh 300 (american) pounds for your (american) 5 feet. But, hey, at least you try, golf is known to be an intensive sport, proven by another research to burn your calories. Ah, at least you get to show that you're an asshole to other assholes. And the answer to the obvious question is: "no, I really don't envy them"

If they ever found a way to power cars with incoherent rants, you'd be rich!

Re:Pointless (1)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679887)

oh noes we are being contacted from the island of 1984

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679951)

oh, I got carried away... I know who invented golf, I read TFA's about Yamaha, but it's all the same (except for the inventors of golf, they still miss their gone great empire, poor poor fellows...)

Re:Pointless (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679931)

This is the perfect test market for a bullshit powered golf cart. Aren't politicians, lawyers, and marketing droids big golf players?

Re:Pointless (1)

Chad Birch (1222564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680449)

Don't take the article too seriously, it's just samzenpus' once-per-day "should have been in idle" test post to see how close to digg we're willing to let slashdot become.

Now we need ot MAKE politicians ride in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683539)

haha ya legislate all politicians must ride one of these rosy vehicles

Re:Pointless (1)

phishfood (562800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683841)

they really should make it run on goose shit as well. those pesky Canadian geese make quite a mess.

Gotta love those huge Japanese conglomerates (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679437)

P**p will soon be powering your hi-fi stereo system and your premier acoustic guitars.

WTF? (2, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679671)

Since when has "poop" been a swear word that needs to be censored?

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680179)

Oh my shit! You fuckin' said "p**p"! I'm tattling!

Re:WTF? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683899)

Oh my shit! You fuckin' said "p**p"! I'm tattling!

That reminds me of one of my favorite oldies -- the redneck who told his wife, "Let's put the kids to B-E-D so we can fuck."

Re:WTF? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680243)

Those asterisks actually represent boobies. He was trying to add a little more raunchiness to the comments.

Re:Gotta love those huge Japanese conglomerates (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27681937)

Not to mention the wombat poo paper! [google.com]

Re:Gotta love those huge Japanese conglomerates (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683761)

Generally I power my acoustic guitar with my fingers, not my p**p.

Strange (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679459)

Usually the shitbags are on the seats.

Sheldon

Sorry dudes... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679491)

The fact that methane can be made from cow dung(among a large number of other things) doesn't mean that slapping a methane engine or fuel cell on a vehicle amounts to producing a "vehicle powered by cow dung".

By that elastic standard, any rechargable battery-powered vehicle is actually a "coal/oil/nuclear fission/nuclear fusion(seamless upgrade in-the-field at some future date)/wind/hydro/solar flex fuel vehicle". Nonsense, twaddle, and utter rot.

You're right (4, Funny)

Myria (562655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679531)

I call bullshit.

Re:You're right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680377)

The quotation I read on the bottom of this page is: "The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get".

New meaning (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27681885)

to the term "chip shot"

Re:Sorry dudes... (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679609)

No Kidding.

I'm going to power my bike tomorrow with fish sticks, a renewable resource conveniently located in my freezer. The natural cycle of womanhood seems to automatically withdraw funds from our checking account and deposit fresh fish sticks in the freezer on a weekly schedule. Like the tides, or the changing of seasons, the reasons for this cycle are not readily explainable to us mere men, we can only gaze upon the glory of Mother nature and wonder at her boundless bounty.

Re:Sorry dudes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680005)

Ah, the perfect specimen of Slashdotus Nerdus.
You know, they don't actually bleed _every_ week.

Maybe next time you'll be able to convince us you've actually met a real female.

Re:Sorry dudes... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680421)

What? A weekly trip to the supermarket for fishsticks isn't a part of a woman's biological cycle? Gasp! Oh, the painful shock being told something I was pretending not to know!

How shall I live... What shall I do..

What happens if she stops buying them? Will other frozen sticks of food even work? Chicken sticks? Beef Sticks? What if the fish she buys next, isn't stick shaped? Would a fish Isosceles triangle work?

And also, what about the daily foot massages? Are those really necessary to keep the blood returning to her head?

Re:Sorry dudes... (1)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680239)

Lucky for you man created Amazon.com for replacing woman in this natural cycle of life. You can subscribe to Fish sticks [amazon.com] like their other grocery products and it will automatically charge you and ship fish sticks to your door on a regular basis!

Re:Sorry dudes... (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680381)

Lucky for you man created Amazon.com for replacing woman in this natural cycle of life. You can subscribe to Fish sticks like their other grocery products and it will automatically charge you and ship fish sticks to your door on a regular basis!

But then they won't be in the freezer, or cooked in the oven. I'd have to eat them quickly, hunched-over on my front porch before they attracted raccoons. I think Amazon.com has a way to go before replacing the Amazons.

Re:Sorry dudes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680255)

You like fish sticks? What are you, a gay fish?

Re:Sorry dudes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680317)

I had to re-read to not see gaze upon the glory of Mother nature and wonder at her boundless booty , and to realize you were talking about Mother Nature and not your wife.

Re:Sorry dudes... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693237)

The fact that methane can be made from cow dung(among a large number of other things) doesn't mean that slapping a methane engine or fuel cell on a vehicle amounts to producing a "vehicle powered by cow dung".

About a year ago there was a Mythbusters special. In that episode they ran a lawnmower (apparently with an unmodified engine) on methane produced from cow dung. The farm they got this from apparently uses gas from the waste as a source of fuel. There are also sewerage treatment plants which use gas produced by bacterial decomposition to reduce their need for "natural gas" and/or electricity. As well as landfill sites collecting methane from rotting garbage to fuel the trucks which bring if there in the first place.

Cow and chicken manure (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679495)

There was something on PBS last night that talked about how agricultural waste, especially cow and chicken crap, is a huge huge water pollution problem in many places in the US. I hope this fuel conversion process is something that can really happen large scale. The other cool info they talked about is that a lot of water pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay area are causing male fish to grow female eggs and other scary things that could cause problems in people, too since people drink this water and the filters at water processing plants can't handle these "new pollutants". Great, we won't just go sterile, we'll grow 6 legs and our balls will drop off.

Just like GM & Ford (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679517)

Hell, that's nothing.

GM, Ford and Chrysler are already selling vehicles powered by organic waste. Granted, the material has been highly compressed and heated through geologic forces over millions of years until it becomes a black goo which is then refined into a flammable liquid.... but you can still call it organic waste, correct?

Re:Just like GM & Ford (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679933)

It's more or less all radioactive waste in the end, hydrogen may be an exception.

Solar power renewable energy my ass.

Re:Just like GM & Ford (1)

esampson (223745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679943)

Hell, that's nothing.

GM, Ford and Chrysler are already selling vehicles powered by organic waste.

Oh. Oil. For a moment I thought you meant the marketing bullshit they ran on.

Fueling from the top... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680707)

Hell, that's nothing. GM, Ford and Chrysler are already selling vehicles powered by organic waste. Granted, the material has been highly compressed and heated through geologic forces over millions of years until it becomes a black goo which is then refined into a flammable liquid.... but you can still call it organic waste, correct?

Boy, there for a minute, when you were talking about highly compressed organic waste, I thought you might have been referring to those tall piles of shit they call Executives.

Then, I realized you were serious.

My observation still stands as a viable source of highly refined bullshit, in case GM were to look towards another vehicle line...

re: dung car (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679547)

Yeah, but I bet it gets really shitty gas mileage.

Re: dung car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680559)

By the time Version 3.0 comes out it it will be marketed as bean powered porta-cart named "Blazing Saddles" .

It is still a carbon based fuel (2, Interesting)

crazybit (918023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679553)

which means it will generate CO2. Maybe less than gasoline, but on the other side it is VERY explosive and has to be stored in high pressure tanks.

What happened with wind/solar/hidrogen based technologies? shouldn't we be researching on them?

Re:It is still a carbon based fuel (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679767)

You're right and wrong. The problem with burning oil is that you are releasing sequestered CO2 from within the earth. Burning methane from cow waste releases CO2 that was sequestered from the atmosphere by the plant then the cow then released by burning. So it's a 0 sum transfer.

CO2 in oil was in the atmosphere a very long time ago while the CO2 from dung was in the atmosphere days ago.

Re:It is still a carbon based fuel (1)

esampson (223745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679899)

Yes, it does generate CO2 but that isn't a problem if the methane is generated from some form of organic waste. In such a case the carbon in the methane was recently (in geological terms) in the air, most likely as CO2, before being pulled out by plants. Burning the methane simply returns it back to the air (admittedly, it would be better if we didn't have to do that but at least it won't increase the amount of atmospheric CO2).

Like using alcohol using methane produced from organic waste is carbon neutral at worst. Given that after the conversion process and after natural processes that further breakdown the organic waste there is still some carbon left behind (the waste won't convert 100% to CO2) there is really a negative, albeit barely, effect on atmospheric carbon.

The carbon in oil, on the other hand, comes from deep underground where it has been sequestered. By digging it up and burning it we are taking it out of the ground and placing it back into the atmosphere.

Of course all those is only important if the methane is produced from organic waste. If the methane is taken from sequestered locations such as methane hydrate deposits in the ocean then burning the methane will add CO2 to the atmosphere.

Re:It is still a carbon based fuel (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679997)

Except the plants and later animals have picked up the same amount of carbon from the environment so it's +/- 0.

The same is true for the fossile fuels as well except it was rather long time ago it was stored.

But then as someone else mentioned in another thread on Slashdot, rather a warmer planet when a freezing ice-ball in space.

Imagine earth at less than 0 degrees celsius all the time.

Re:It is still a carbon based fuel (1)

chrisv (12054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680013)

Hm. Well, methane will generate CO2 as it's end result, whether it's used for power or not - it undergoes an oxidation reaction over time: CH4 + 2O2 -> CO2 + 2H2O. It's also 75 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and as it decomposes to CO2 anyway, net output of CO2 from burning methane from such sources as cow dung is nil.

Wind, solar, and hydrogen all have their issues: wind and solar are unreliable over time, because they both ultimately depend on the weather conditions, and hydrogen isn't an energy source. Free H2 uses a lot of energy to obtain, unless it's obtained from fossil fuels, which, while potentially better for the environment, still leaves us with a non-renewable resource.

Re:It is still a carbon based fuel (1)

esampson (223745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680111)

...It's also 75 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and as it decomposes to CO2 anyway

Not quite sure why but I feel compelled to point out that not only does it convert to CO2 but it does so pretty darn quickly (as I understand it). Methane really wants to combine with oxygen, which is of course why it burns so nicely.

Maybe I feel compelled because I've seen other people throw out the fact that it is so much more potent in an attempt to discredit the idea that CO2 is a major factor in climate change (which you are obviously not trying to do).

Re:It is still a carbon based fuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680047)

I believe methane is a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2. Capturing the methane from the dung prevents it from being released into the atmosphere.

Methane (1)

megli (649925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679669)

Because cows don't produce enough methane already.

Tiger Woods? (2, Funny)

daveywest (937112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679733)

I can just see the endorsment touting the "sweet smell of victory."

Smart feller ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679751)

The guy who invented it was definitely a fart Smeller and so will be those around the cart

Coming Soon...? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679769)

Now let's see if they can design a golfer that isn't.

This is so Thunderdome! (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679773)

They should call it "Master Blaster" Ok ok that was lame.

BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679775)

BBC's Top Gear did this quite a few years ago. They raced 3 cars - one fueled by cow crap, one by human crap, and one by gasoline.

faaaart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679809)

Jenkins hits the ball

Smith: Jenkins, your game could power our cart.
Jenkins: What?
Smith: Your game is shit, Jenkins.

Harold Bates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679941)

Harold Bates, an English Gentleman ran his Hillman car on methane in the 1950's. He produced and compressed his own supply. A google search for Harold Bates is far more edifying than the article.

Using fecal matter to produce methane... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680159)

Using fecal matter to produce methane is what most wastewater treatment plants use to power their facilities in the first place.

When will you people realize this is not anything new?

Re:Using fecal matter to produce methane... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680607)

When will you people realize this is not anything new?

Since when is a golf car the same as a sewage processing plant?

that's nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27680187)

In college I had an entire professor apparently powered by cow dung.

Who runs bartertown? (1)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680331)

Apparently Yamaha does ;-)

So uh...an interesting fact... (1)

anotheranothernick (1491545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680371)

Methane is about *20 times* more effective at trapping heat than CO2. Both are "Green house" gases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane#Methane_as_a_greenhouse_gas [wikipedia.org]

Let the flames begin! ( pun intended :P )

Re:So uh...an interesting fact... (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680515)

Right, and when you burn it it turns into carbon dioxide and water.

Re:So uh...an interesting fact... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683385)

which is still better than leaving it unburned and greenhouse potent.

just combine bullshit sports: (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680633)

If you put a wind sail on a golf cart, then arrogant rich people can combine their favorite two past-times: golf and sailing. It's okay to stereotype rich people, right?

slogan (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680691)

Cowadunga duude!

All I'm picturing in my head (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27681379)

is some drunken golfer dropping his pants and crapping down the exhaust pipe of his cart.

Cattle Herding (1)

JuzzFunky (796384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27681629)

How about using this to build an autonomous cattle herdiing robot!

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27681917)

Must be underwritten by Monsanto to generate more demand for chemical (petroleum based) fertilizers.

What a stupid idea.

Idea for a commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27682077)

Guy standing in the fairway hits an iron shot deep into the trees. He slumps in disappointment.

"Dude", says a guy wearing Oakleys riding alongside in a cart. "As long as you're looking for new ways to stink up the joint, why not help the planet at the same time?"

hhahahaahha!!!!!!! (1)

Chees0rz (1194661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27682185)

It's painted to look like a cow!!!

This would be perfect for Mongolia, NZ and AU (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | more than 5 years ago | (#27682781)

This could totally be perfect for Mongolia, and New Zealand and Australia.. Cattle puts out ALOT of crap. Next thing you know, New Zealand will be powering their golf carts off of methane directly extracted from the asses of all of their sheep.

Re:This would be perfect for Mongolia, NZ and AU (1)

twosat (1414337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683423)

The Christchurch City Council in New Zealand has been generating methane gas from its sewerage for many years and using it in its vehicles and generators. In fact, the sewage works generates a substantial portion of the power required to run itself. In addition, there is a large council swimming pool complex (Queen Elizabeth) that is heated by the gas given off from an old rubbish dump.

Looks like 1970s called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27682803)

Gobar gas has been in use in India since early '70s and has been used not just to power vehicles, but for cooking and non-combustive electricity generation as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogas
Google Books: Encyclopaedia of environmental energy resources / By G. R. Chhatwal

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27682959)

Cow dung is pure.

Old news (1)

wagr (1070120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27686811)

On our farm, we used to run a little still-like contraption that captured methane from manure that we used to run a water pump. My brother and I took that pump and made a go-cart with it (for a few days until my grandfather found out). Is the news here that a company has done this instead of a farm boy?

I'll bet it runs like shit! (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#27687363)

couldn't resist

Better alternative... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692443)

...is to have golf-cart powered by human dung. Converting the seats to toilet seats, put in built-in microwave and a mini fridge. That'll be truly self-propelling.

Was that you, Aoki-san? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27697923)

Oh no ... sorry sorry .. my golf cart exhaust no good.

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