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Manure-Powered Generators On The Rise

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the mooove-over-fossil-fuels dept.

Science 444

Sunkist writes "The San Francisco Chronicle has a report on Marin County rancher Albert Straus that, after 25 years of work, began using a generator powered by manure. While this type of 'power' has been in use for a while, recent legislation has made it more widespread. From the article, 'The Straus Farms' covered-lagoon methane generator, powered by methane billowing off a covered pool of decomposing bovine waste, is expected to save the operation between $5,000 and $6,000 per month in energy costs.' Let's hear it for poop!"

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444 comments

Word just in from the oil industry (5, Funny)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151696)

Shit.

Re:Word just in from the oil industry (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151749)

You mean Bull Shit, right? You cant just use any old fecal matter in these things.

Re:Word just in from the oil industry (5, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151867)

Damn, I was just picturing this scenario:
Wife: Honey, we need more power! The computer's fritzing out and the lights are dimming!

Husband: *sighs* I'll get the Metamucil.

So cows ARE worth a shitload! (2, Interesting)

SYFer (617415) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151697)

So if vegetarianism were to become the norm and these maure-power setups become common, cows would no longer be slaughtered, but still they'd still be raised commercially. For their milk... n' shit.

Doubtful (5, Interesting)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151900)

cows would no longer be slaughtered, but still they'd still be raised commercially

I see this as more of a way of recycling. Crap is a by-product of an animal using energy. The actual energy needed to produce that crap is immense. Think of the grass that has to grow and the nutrients placed into the soil, then what your body can't use is the crap. When it gets down to it... we would probably save money, and resources just growing tress on that land and burning those(skip the cow). The benefit to the current setup is that we can raise the cow, eat em, and then recycle the by-products.

Fuel consumed in Feed Lots (3, Insightful)

yintercept (517362) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152028)

You are probably right. I personally doubt that the amount of energy produced by a methane powered generating plant in a feed lot would equal the cost of the energy consumed by farmers raising crops and shipping crops to the feed lot. This is more of a way to minimize the loss of energy from our fuel dependent farm economy.

Re:Doubtful (2, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152057)

According to the crazied fools over at People Eat Tasty Animals:

U.S. livestock alone consume about one-third of the world's total grain harvest, as well as more than 70 percent of the grain grown in the United States.

I have heard similar numbers elsewhere (although not as high as 70%). PETA is, of course, one of the growing numbers of groups that feel that making up facts and figures *cough*MADD*cough* is ok, since what they're doing is "good".

Farmers have also been doing this in Minnesota recently (the manure energy, not making up facts and figures). I'm trying to remember if it worked year round.

Re:So cows ARE worth a shitload! (1)

thebra (707939) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151923)

As long as your not a vegan (I'm not) which will not even drink milk. What a great way to live.

Re:So cows ARE worth a shitload! (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152049)

So if vegetarianism were to become the norm and these maure-power setups become common, cows would no longer be slaughtered, but still they'd still be raised commercially. For their milk... n' shit.

If we were trully vegetarian we would likely produce our fuel from fruits and vegetables, like Brazil does with their sugar beet. I'd have to look at see what would be more efficent, producing methane from animal waste or producing alcohol from a crop. I can see some advantages to reclaimed engery from a waste product, and it would be nice to see city landfills actually doing something with their excess methane production rather then just just burning it off.

That's all well and good... (4, Funny)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151712)

...but i'll take a shitload of fuel to power a city.

but on a serious note - Re:That's all well and (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151917)

I think a variety of energy-producing methods is a great first step towards lessening oil dependency. It doesn't have to be one size fits all: for some areas, solar would work well, others, wind or thermal. Less chance for monopoly that way as well. Then, we could use the oil that was still around for the situations that truly required it. Now if we could just get the prices down for the equipment it takes to use alternative sources....

Re:That's all well and good... (2, Funny)

GuyinVA (707456) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152069)

Just come to Washington DC. We got bullshit all over this town.

Tina Turner (5, Funny)

chaffed (672859) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151716)

That's great and all but what does Tina Turner have to say about it?

Re:Tina Turner (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151742)

That's great and all but what does Tina Turner have to say about it?

And in related news: Tina Turner sues poop power generator makers for patent infringement; claims prior art.

Re:Tina Turner (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151775)

Tina Turner controlled Bartertown, Master Blaster was in charge of the underground.

Btw mods, grandparent is not a troll. If you haven't seen the Mad Max films you have no business moderating on a forum for geeks.

Prior Art (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151992)

See this [flyingdreams.org] description (e.g.) for an example of even earlier prior art.
(From The Good Life, aka Good Neighbors in the USA.)

Re:Tina Turner (1)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151789)

Tina Turner says:
MASTER BLASTER runs barter town!!!

On a side note why is the parent a troll? Obviously not a madmax fan...

what does Tina Turner have to say about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152078)

"We don't need another hero
We don't need to know the way home "

Just the right time. (4, Funny)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151732)

..and it arrives at the perfect time, the production of bullshit is at an all-time high!

Re:Just the right time. (1, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151770)

Plans are already in motion to connect one of these generators to the offices of SCO, the RIAA, and the whitehouse.
We'll be foreign oil free within a week!

Re:Just the right time. (1)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152079)

Rumor has it that Congress is setting up in the business. Damn there goes the whole market!

Re:Just the right time. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151802)

m ... if Darl makes the right moves SCO could have a greate future selling ... well, bullshit.

I was there, it's an impressive setup (4, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151744)

This little midget riding a huge musclebound retarded guy challenged me to Thunderdome!

Cows say... (4, Funny)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151756)

...that's a great energy source... for me to POOP ON!

Oh wait... (or is it "moo wait..."?)

The inherited problem is still (2, Insightful)

An-Unnecessarily-Lon (761026) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151762)

The CO2 produced. Without forrest like we used to have CO2 buildup will not slow down. The need to develope better, safer Nuclear Energy.

Re:The inherited problem is still (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151813)

That's greenpeace FUD, really. There's not nearly as much CO2 staying in the atmosphere as there should be, and noone knows why not. The best theories are that the oceans (which are most of the planet) sink orders of magnitude more CO2 than all the land-based plants.

Re:The inherited problem is still (4, Informative)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151893)

Without forrest like we used to have...

Many forests around the world have been significantly depleted, but the myth of deforestation in the U.S. is just that, a myth. There hasn't been a significant decrease in plantlife except in very urban areas, like New York.

Also, on a world wide scale, much of the plantlife that handles the CO2 issue is in the ocean. I don't remember the number, but something like 70% of the CO2 converting plants live in the ocean. I think that's the bigger issue.

Re:The inherited problem is still (4, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151998)

I read recently that there's enough old growth forest in the US to make a band as wide as texas from NY to Seattle.

Much of it is in undesirable areas (mountains etc) or protected parks so it's pretty much safe.

Re:The inherited problem is still (1)

slushbat (777142) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151912)

Actually, there is no problem with the CO2 produced. The cows don't introduce any extra carbon to the system. It's an equilibrium Cow->CO2->Plant->Cow. The greenhouse effect is caused by liberating the carbon trapped for millions of years in oil and coal.

Re:The inherited problem is still (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151940)

But wouldn't this be 'carbon neutral'?

The cows eat hay and grain which are seasonal/renewable resources?

http://www.eere.energy.gov/biopower/benefits/be_ en v_aq.htm

Re:The inherited problem is still (1)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151965)

Ahh, just dump some iron in the ocean. A nice algae bloom will take care of that CO2.

Re:The inherited problem is still (2, Insightful)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151968)

Ah, but more carbon dioxide encourages the growth of forests and plankton. Keep in mind that the US east of the Mississippi was twice as forested in 1990 as it was in 1900. That's the most heavily populated area of the country, during a time of tremendous population growth and blow-out urban sprawl.

Also, more plankton leads to more krill leads to more whales. Greenpeace is against this? Besides, all our energy comes from either the sun or radioactive decay. Ultimately, it's all nuclear.

You're missing the point -- (4, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151972)

They're getting energy from what was considered to be a waste product. If they weren't doing this, we would have to make larger nuclear power plants, or whatever other form of energy product you feel is acceptable for the environment.

This is a win-win situation, for those involved -- they de-water the waste, compact the waste for easier removal, and get energy back in the process to help offset the operational costs for the process.

For those who didn't take sewage treatment classes in college, there are four main types of setting -- type 1 is for things that accelerate from gravity (sticks, rocks, etc), type 2 is things that floculate (clump together as they're falling), type 3 and 4 are not typically done in a water treatment plant as they don't happen quickly enough. So, what they do is syphon off the 'mostly' clean water at the top, and dump the sludge at the bottom... but the sludge at the bottom is still mostly water, which is heavy, and bulky. Depending on the area, they'll spread it out to dry in the sun, or use anaerobic digestion (such as in the bottom of a pond), to get it to compress further.

And let's not forget that composted manure makes great fertilizer, which the farmer might otherwise be buying for the plants that go into feeding the cow. It's all just an example of a nice little ecosystem.

Re:The inherited problem is still (1)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152016)

Nuclear energy is far from being able to be made safe in the immediate future.

There are other alternative forms of energy.

Steve

Re:The inherited problem is still (2, Insightful)

caffeine_monkey (576033) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152018)

No. The problem of global warming is the release of fossilized CO2 - that is, CO2 which has been sequestered in the form of oil and coal for so long that it is no longer part of the balance of the ecosystem. The release of CO2 from organic matter, such as wood and manure, has no effect on this balance because the carbon in it was sequestered from the ecosystem very recently. In other words, CO2 from shit is part of the carbon cycle.

Re:The inherited problem is still (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152033)

Methane is even more of a green-house gas than CO2. Without this system to collect it and burn it, the cows would still poop and the methane would be released into the atmosphere.

Holy cow! (4, Interesting)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151771)

So what's the waste generated from this? Obviously CO2, but what else? Is it considered "clean" energy? Is used poop as good at fertilizing as new poop? Would it work with human poop? Can I build a small version myself? Are their poop bylaws? (I can cover my lawn with poop after all..). And most importantly, does it run Linux??

Re:Holy cow! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151938)

Human poop would kill pretty much anything you tried to fertilize with it, it's full of bile and toxins and stuff. Cow poop comes out almost like it went in, thats why grazing animals have to eat all the time.

Re:Holy cow! (1)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151973)

No no no.. I meant, human poop creates methane, so could you use it to produce power!!

(Human urine is used for fertilizer in China..)

Re:Holy cow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152105)

/me goes and farts in his car intake manifold and sees how far he will get

Re:Holy cow! (2, Informative)

Sarojin (446404) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152119)

Yes, this does work with human waste. In fact, it's probably being used at your local wastewater treatment plant now to power their pumps and such. It's as very common way to reduce -or eliminate - electricity costs at treatment plants.

It also works at landfills. Methane is extracted from the landfill, and used to turn generators. The electricity is fed into the power grid, and the power company pays the landfill operator (usually the county) for the juice. Here in Northern California, the power company (Pacific Graft & Extortion - AKA PG&E) is legally required to purchase the power.

And the masses will think.... (1)

Toadpipe (606624) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151773)

it's not petrolium, so can't really be useful. Besides, isn't methane dangerous??

Stuff like this is far from new. What would be a new twist however is if our society accually starts using this and other ideas like it.

All in all, damn fine work, I just hope this kind of thing becomes widespread. Soon.

Re:And the masses will think.... (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151848)

Besides, isn't methane dangerous??

every year you read a few stories about how a worker got dizzy from the fumes and fell into a big tank of manure.

that's gotta be one of the worst ways to die.

after they pull the body out, the guy's funeral has to be either with a hermetically closed coffin, or incinerated to ashes in an urn.

Re:And the masses will think.... (1, Funny)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152008)

every year you read a few stories about how a worker got dizzy from the fumes and fell into a big tank of manure.

that's gotta be one of the worst ways to die.

Oh, there are quite a few that are far worse, but the FCC would fine me $495,000 for mentioning them.

Re:And the masses will think.... (1)

Toadpipe (606624) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152014)

every year you read a few stories about how a worker got dizzy from the fumes and fell into a big tank of manure.

And then of course, there are all the people hwo die each year due to the side effects of gas huffing. The countless auto fires. The suicides by petrolium engine fumes... ...not to mention the numerous accidents at oil refineries.

No fuel is safe. You just have to pick the fuel whos source you can deal with. I'd rather power our county on fuel derived from domestic animal waste than oil from overseas.

I mean, would there be anyone willing to fight a war over shit? No, and you wouldn't have to, it's everywhere. No more fighting between nations over energy infrastructure. This is the kind of solution even the third world can afford to maintain.

Dialogue: (2, Funny)

FlyingOrca (747207) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152067)

"Bob fell into the manure pond yesterday."

"Can he swim?"

"No, but he sure went through the 'movements'!"

*ducks*

Re:And the masses will think.... (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151970)

Methane is dangerous. So is natural gas. And propane. And gasoline. But that didn't stop us before.

And I think there's a certain irony in cooking burgers over a flame made by cow poo.

You're shittin' me right? (4, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151785)

I don't know if I believe this article... something smells kind of funny about it.

buh-du-bum-ching

Low tech version (2, Interesting)

Sarojin (446404) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151790)

I've been using cow dung as fuel for bonfires for quite a while. Once it's dried (which is when I'd be using it) it doesn't smell bad, and carries a lot of methane. A better use of it may be fertilizer, though my compost bin is full of other organic material.

No pun intended. (0)

Mateito (746185) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151792)

"manure." "widespread."

Maybe I just spent too much of my childhood on strawberry plantations.

Liquid Manure (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151798)

When I was a kid we would visit my Uncle's dairy farm. Even with him using a lot of manure to fertilize his fields - getting rid of it all was still an issue. They went to a system where they processed it to liquid and it went into a big liquid manure pond. I can remember watching their dog- walking around on the 'crust' that formed on the top of it. Every so often his legs would slip through. That was a nasty dog.

Eventually my Uncle's family farm went under and was auctioned off. I wonder if this kind of thing would have been enough to keep him in business? He now works for a big giant 'corporate' farm. Truth be told- from a purely economic perspective he is better off. He gets regular vacation (never had that with his own farm) and makes o.k. money.

What would get me excited is... (4, Interesting)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151806)

a generator I could run off my septic tank to power my house. But my whole family doesn't produce as much poop as one cow. Although when we have TexMex, we rival cows in overall methane production. But who wants to carry a mini-generator attached to their butt?

Great Economic News! (2, Insightful)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151808)

This ought to help the unemployment rate, as there will be a new employment opportunities in the poop-picking-up field. Someone has got to walk around the field collecting this stuff if they're going to burn it, after all. What a great opportunity! Virtually no training or education requited. If you walk a dob in the city, you are already a seasoned professional, and could quickly rise to management level.

I also see a new market opening for human droppings. Why limit ourselves to animal manure? People donate plasma for a pocketful of money don't they? Why not have pay toilets pay us?!

All of this is good news for out-of-work and soon-to-be-out-of-work programmers! ... until they start shipping in poop from India.

Re:Great Economic News! (3, Informative)

Alan Hicks (660661) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152050)

This ought to help the unemployment rate, as there will be a new employment opportunities in the poop-picking-up field.

I know you're just trying to be funny, but I thought I'd point out there's a reason why this is being done for dairy cows instead of beef cattle. Dairy cows tend to shit in a barn while they're being milked. This creates a lot of waste in a small area, that we typically just hoss out the back. Of course, there's no reason you couldn't hoss it into a container, and then dump that somewhere else where it could be better used.

And here... (2, Funny)

pu'u_bear (137654) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151811)

I was just sniffing it to get high, I didn't realize that you could generate power too!

I wonder how much power we could generate off the BS coming out of Washington, DC... OPEC eat your heart out!

Lots of poop = lots of electricity (5, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151820)

I'm a big fan of "alternative energy." More for the technology and gee-whiz factor thenenvironmentalism I suppose. Anyway, this is a very cool project. Here are the parts of the article that I found particularly interesting:

..switched on a 75- kilowatt generator.

On the panel, an electricity meter began running backward, indicating that power originating from a nearby poop-filled lagoon near the town of Marshall was feeding into PG&E's electric power grid.

..is expected to save the operation between $5,000 and $6,000 per month in energy costs.

A well-fed dairy cow produces 120 pounds of manure every day, or 40,000 pounds per year per animal.

..a single cow can emit 100 to 200 liters of methane per day.

These cows are pooping money!

Happy Trails!

Erick

Re:Lots of poop = lots of electricity (4, Funny)

Cheap Imitation (575717) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152048)

These cows are pooping money!

If cows are that useful, just imagine if we could harness the output of our politicans!

Their (previously useless) B.S. could result in a nearly limitless supply of energy!

I don't get it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151827)

I think this is a crappy idea.

Whoever came up with this should have the shit beat out of them.

Manure-Powered Generators On The Rise (2, Funny)

nanojath (265940) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151830)

Manure-Powered Generators On The Rise

Is "generator" really an accurate name for political campaigns?

Didn't work for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151847)

I tried to run small generator on manure for a while, but I gave up because the fuel filter kept clogging and the carburetor kept fouling. In fact, I never even got the engine to start. Even putting my herd on a 100% bran fiber diet didn't help.

My grandfather used a form of this in farming.... (2, Interesting)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151853)

He used the methane from the pig manure to heat the pig shelters in the winter. This was some 20 years ago. I loved to visit that place (ride the tractors and bobcats), but it did smell something aweful and there were so many flies--this was in Iowa in the summer....great vacation spot :)

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151868)

That's a shit load of power!

Arizona Landfills Use a Similar Process (5, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151870)

Our power company, SRP, does a similar thing with landfills. After the landfill is full, they tarp it and collect the methane in order to generate electricity. Then, a few years later when the methane generation slows down enough they remove the power generation equipment and build a public park on top. Three uses for one piece of land is not a bad idea at all.

Popular in India (4, Informative)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151873)

In India, they call them gobar gas [childhaven.ca] plants (more details in a 1971 Mother Earth New article [green-trust.org] ). As long as one keeps the 30:1 carbon/nitrogen ratio, they can consume other organic waste too (grass clippings, urine, food waste, etc.). The only problem with them is that they tend to create hydrogen sulfide that makes the gas highly corrisive to iron equipment (some people use a filter of steel wool to remove the H2S).

Economics (2, Informative)

jamesl (106902) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151888)

This maakes no more economic sense the last "power from poop" story:
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/03/0 9/182320 6

Sounds like a win-win (2, Insightful)

nanojath (265940) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151890)

On a more serious note, it sounds like a win-win. If waste-lagoons are being covered and methane tapped for energy, it stands to reason that it will reduce both potentially global-warming inducing methane releases into the atmosphere (yes, it will be released as CO or CO2 emissions eventually from combustion, but by displacing other fuels it will be a net win, and please, let's not have the conversation about whether global warming is real or not today) and reduce noxious emissions, a win for the neighbors of big farming facilities.

New Use Found for Humanities Majors! (2, Funny)

Eagle5596 (575899) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151892)

Now they can put all that bull shit which they pile on to their assignments to good use! Finally, a use for humanities majors other than staffing McDonalds!

Poop! (1)

thebra (707939) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151897)

I wonder how bad it smells? I'm sure I'd put up with it for saving 5 grand a month though.

Poop is good, that is all.

Re:Poop! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152053)

You gotta deal with it one way or another. It cant smell worse than a 20 foot high "compost" pile behind the barn.

Useful links.... (2, Informative)

Scrab (573004) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151898)

http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/11/12/manure031112
http://dnr.metrokc.gov/dnrp/press/2003/0717methane -electricity.htm
http://www.climatechangecentral.com/resources/c3vi ews/c3Views200309.pdf
http://enn.com/news/wire-stories/2001/11/11272001/ ap_gas_45671.asp
http://www.riverdeep.net/current/2002/03/032502t_c owpower.jhtml

Cooking fuel (1)

kongjie (639414) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151902)

Chinese farmers have used pig manure to produce methane for cooking gas for a long time. Not a universal practice, but it has been done. Of course, when you are living from hand to mouth, you get innovative in order to survive, hence the widespread use of human feces as "nightsoil" for fertilization, too. And of course on the plains "buffalo chips" have served as fuel for fires for hundreds of years.

Not Kyoto friendly... (0, Flamebait)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 9 years ago | (#9151915)

...So it's a good thing the US didn't sign the accord. Still pretty sh*tty in terms of greenhouse gas emissions so it wouldn't help meet Kyoto targets. Oh well, Kyoto is all about politics and shifting wealth and does nothing meaningful to address climate change or environmental protection anyways (I'll put away the flamethrower now).

On the upside, sh*t is a renewable resource and supply has historically exceeded demand, so it a cheap source of energy. And because it is renewable it could be argued that it is "good" greenhouse emissions as it is less disruptive on the "carbon cycle" of the global environment (that is, we are not pulling carbon sources out of the ground that have been out of the cycle for a bazillion years and disrupting natures balance to the same degree).

Good to see some creative ways to address our energy needs. Curious to know what is done with the crap left over when its usefulness as a power source is done. Good fertiliser I suppose and I'd hope a great deal less aromatic.

Diarhetics? A energy booster? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151918)

Diarhetics? A energy booster?

Ex-lax a way.

My favourite part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151957)

"Who run Barter Town!"

Manure powered generators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9151974)

Manure-powered generators... sounds like a pile of crap :)

Great Tech - But I have a problem... (5, Insightful)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152024)

... with the following statement:

"With net metering, small producers like Straus can reduce or erase their energy bills but cannot be paid for pumping excess energy into the grid. Net metering has been available to owners of home solar systems for several years."

Why do we allow laws that strip us of potential income, and benefit companies like PG&E?

Great news! (2, Funny)

Rumagent (86695) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152030)

So, basically it runs on bullshit? Looks like SCO may have a business model after all...

Anybody know..... (1)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152037)

How to make a generator that runs of decompossing SPAM?.

I could take over from 3 mile island here!

Applying this to the transportatin problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152060)

During the gas shortage in the early 70's, some friends and I toyed with the hypothetical idea of a methane-powered vehicle in which the normal seats would be replaced by toilets. There would be a tray of jalapeno peppers on the dashboard for when you wanted to pass...

How about hydrogen-generating microbes + garbage? (1)

Sarojin (446404) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152085)

I still think that converting the Fresh Kills landfill to a facility that captures methane emissions, generates hydrogen from garbage compost, and burns the rest in a euro-style plasma furnace could really help SI, as well as NYC (and probably the country at large)..

SI would get cleaner air and jobs in a good local high-tech industry (we'd be HAPPY to import garbage ;); NYC would get more tax revenue from the sale of power, hydrogen and methane to power generators and municipal vehicles/facilities and taxes from jobs and industry, as well as additional independence from out-of-city power generation and some relief from peak periods of use. NYC would also reduce its payments for handling trash, thus reducing its budget problems. Talk about a win-win-win-win-win!

Just keep Tony Soprano's hands off it ;)

Marin County! (1)

corporate_ai (775461) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152092)

I hear that this is what Skywalker Sound is using to power their facility at the ranch. With George and his new Unholy Trilogy around it never runs out of fuel.

Bush's energy plan (1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152115)

So now I understand why there's so much bullshit coming out of the White House these days. It's the Bush Administration's new energy plan.
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