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Salt Lake City Plan May Turn Sewer Waste To Energy

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the my-outlet-stinks dept.

90

tuxd00d writes "The question goes something like this: How many toilet flushes does it take to power a light bulb? There's really no answer, but Salt Lake City is exploring a pilot project that would convert sewer waste into energy to run a heating and cooling system in a downtown building, city water department official Jeff Niermeyer said."

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*bangs on radiator* (5, Funny)

chowdy (992689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783373)

This shitty heater never works!

Turbines embeded in pipes? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783399)

When you flush the sh*t will really hit the fan...

Biomass Research at U of MN (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783403)

From the article,
Attorney John Lear's new offices in the Major George Downey Mansion will be the testing ground for the system. Lear, who specializes in gas and oil law, stumbled upon the idea last year while investigating alternatives to traditional heating and cooling systems.
Does anyone else find it odd that a gas & oil law official is proposing this? I mean, I hope he did his research to make sure that the extra cash spent ensures that this energy is return is worth it. Also, I find it odd that this would be held in a mansion basement and not the local sewage treatment plant where it could eventually done en masse. Aside from watering the lawn, is there a proximity requirement for this particular method of harvesting energy from waste? I wish they would delve more into details but unfortunately all we seem to get is "Simply put, the system would transfer energy from one place to another."

It sounds like it works similar to the biomass ideas I've heard that are constantly arising [com.com] . I would like to see a formal unbiased study done on what process applied to X renewable resources (in this case, waste) is the most efficient in net energy return.

There have been some recent minor [renewablee...access.com] achievements [twincities.com] by a research team at the University of Minnesota (my alma mater) [umn.edu] .

I'm not sure if it's related to an effort to introduce it to the public [virginiamn.com] . From that article
The project includes each utility installing a new boiler, fuel handling system and auxiliary equipment to tie into existing turbine generators. The project will use biomass from a tree farm in Aitkin, as well as right of way clearings.

Biomass is organic matter (such as wood) that can be processed into energy for heat, liquid fuels or power generation. Biomass can be combusted directly to produce steam for electricity or it can be converted into a gas to power a turbine.

The boilers will produce 20 megawatts of biomass electricity in Hibbing and 15 megawatts in Virginia.

The two utilities, working jointly as the Laurentian Energy Authority, hold a contract to sell 35 megawatts of biomass power to Xcel Energy.
You might laugh but Biomass is important in Minnesota [mnbiomassexchange.org] --although I realize that the current process isn't as BTU profitable as some Brazilian sugar cane plants, but hopefully they can squeeze more and more useful resources out of what was normally considered waste.

I wonder if it would be possible in the future to engineer plants which when harvested produce an optimal BTU return ... and then make them resistant to the cold cold winters & insanely hot summers of Minnesota. I suppose it wouldn't be safe growing something that's potentially as unstable as impure oil or gasoline though!

Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783411)

It is never a good idea to give a city motivation to contaminate the water supply so that they can sell more electricity to California. If I ever need to visit SLC, I will bring my own water.

Crappy use of taxpayer's dollars? (1)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783427)

Send the money down the toilet!

Seriously though, I'm all for alternative energy, but to really make a difference, the technology has to be cost effective and scalable. That is the ONLY way it will ever get adopted. Wind is moving in that direction and I think nuclear is becoming more viable again.... but many other stuff: solar, wave power, etc... has a LONG way to go.

Envision an owl here... (1)

RedOregon (161027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783449)

Let's find out.

One...

Two...

Three...

*karuuuunch*

What the hell was that?!?

Re:Biomass Research at U of MN (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783537)

Why is it odd to pilot/test on a smaller scale (in the basement of a mansion) rather then impact the production environment (the city's waste water treatment facility)? Wouldn't a proof-of-concept seem reasonable when, as you say yourself, they don't appear to have worked out the details of transferring energy from one place to another?

The inevitable (2, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783541)

... Cue mass tagging of this article as 'itsacrap'? ;-)

The idea of powering things from seemingly worthless waste matter isn't new - there's that Swedish train powered by methane from fermented cow offal [bbc.co.uk] , for example. I know sewage works produce a lot of methane anyway, so it's possibly just a matter of collecting it in a cost-effective manner...

Land-fill sites might be next. I've seen small flares stuck into the ground, burning off excess methane, to stop it collecting to dangerous, explosive levels. Once again, it's a matter of whether it's cost-effective to collect this otherwise free gas.

Not that new (5, Informative)

kilf (135983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783543)

The main sewage plants for London (Crossness and Beckton), has been burning most of the capital's sewage to make power for several years. According to the link below, they make a little more power than it takes to run the treatment plant. The Crossness station has a really pretty sinusoidal roof.

http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/Co nNarrative.153/chapterId/3192/Bazalgette-and-Londo ns-sewage.html [portcities.org.uk]

Hah (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783563)

Holy crap!

Power outage (4, Funny)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783565)

During a power outage, just feed tenants some food from Taco Bell.

the shit doesn't hit the fan (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783569)

it makes the fan turn...

Re:Bad idea (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783587)

This has nothing to do with the water supply. They are going to be using the sewage lines. They dismissed using the water supply, probably for the same reasons you would.

Infantile Pun Warning (2, Funny)

Radioheadhead (611950) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783589)

Does anyone else find it odd that a the story linked to appears in Whiznews?

[OT] replies not appearing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783633)

hey everyone,

I can't see any replies to posts. I gather this is not the first time this has happened? Anyone know what's going on?

Er yeah.... I guess if you reply to this I won't see it, so just make a new post as AC

bindun? (0, Redundant)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783635)

this article stinks!
flushing money down the toilet!
its the shit...!

Re:Biomass Research at U of MN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783681)

well that is all great and good, and in combination with what this plant is doing could make a bit of power. They are using the heat from the sewage, from hot water from homes to the excess heat from biodegrading, to power heat pumps using the deep earth as a sink. a great many wastewater treatment plants collect gasses to burn for fuel already. I think the Los Angeles treatment plant makes something like 40% of its electricity in this fashion. But that isn't what this article said they were going to do.

no threads are visible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783697)

only reading top level comments makes conversations not quite conversant

Re:Crappy use of taxpayer's dollars? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783703)

. . .to really make a difference, the technology has to be . . . scalable.

Why?

KFG

Install this in Washington D.C. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783745)

Then it will really be world power.

"Just" a heat pump? (5, Informative)

Reverse Gear (891207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783765)

As far as I figure this is just a heat pump, they put lines through sewage that is heating because it is decomposing.
It is a nice idea for sure, I wonder if this hasn't been done already though.

People here in Denmark are having heat pumps installed all over the place and people place these water/air lines all over the place to get air for their heat pump a little hotter than otherwise, burying the lines in the earth below frost depth seems to be a normal choice, but if you anyhow do have a dunghill or something like that why not let the pipes run through there.

Anyhow heat pumps sure is one of the many things that we need to use a lot more in the future, no one technology will be able to replace our use of hydrocarbons, but if we combine all the technologies we have a shot of actually significantly reduce our CO2 emissions.

I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (-1, Offtopic)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783799)

Has anyone actually noticed that the Reply To: is broken. Look back through the past few stories - no-one's been able to reply to comments.

They should try this in Washington D.C. (0)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783827)

There's never a shortage of bull$hit there...

Trick Question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783845)

Obviously, the question is in error.

A toilet flush produces a certain amount of energy.

A lightbulb consumes a certain amount of power (assuming a certain average).

You just can't compare the two. You have to integrate power over time first. A better question would be, "how many flushes of the toilet does it take to power a 15W lightbulb for a year?"

Then you can argue that it also depends on what, exactly you are flushing, and its energy content. Maybe some people's poop is more effective than others.

creators replacing evile with newclear power (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783849)

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Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783853)

Actually, everyone can reply, but the replies are invisible (except if it's a reply to your own post and you've turned on email notifications for replies). But even then the "parent" link is broken.

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783897)

really?

Re:Biomass Research at U of MN (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783903)

Does anyone else find it odd that a gas & oil law official is proposing this?

He's not a gas & oil law official. He's an attorney. It's a natural fit for him, because as an attorney he's full of . . .

I wonder if it would be possible in the future to engineer plants which when harvested produce an optimal BTU return. . .

Sure, it'll just take hundreds of years to grow them.

KFG

Tag Trolling (2, Insightful)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783919)

OK, so it's not directly related to shit-power, but why has there been a sudden overload in tag trolling — specifically, adding "itsatrap" to every story on the front page?! This is one for the Slashdot trolling phenomena article. In what way is getting useful work out of sewage a trap?

Re:Not that new (1)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783925)

Also, in Indianapolis, the dump is across White River from a few factories and plants. They have a pipe running under the river to deliver the methane to those facilities for very cheap energy and chemical resources. It eliminates a problem for the waste facilities people (big methane buildups are not a good thing) and makes the factories and plants more economically viable. This is a particularly big deal since they are in an area of town that, over the last 100 years, hasn't stayed in the economic forefront.

Inaccurate title (4, Informative)

pv2b (231846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783951)

I RTFA, and it seems they're not actually extracting the chemical energy from the sewage -- rather, they're just installing a heat pump to exploit the temperature differential between the sewage and the ground.

Now, using a heat pump might be rather novel in itself -- but extracting energy from sewage is nothing new. We've been doing this in Sweden for quite some time now -- except chemically. Here's a random link with some information about one such installation ... [cardiff.ac.uk]

The resulting biogas is used to replace natural gas in different applications, and we have for quite some time had Bi-Fuel vehicles that can run compressed biogas as well as gasoline, that enjoy certain tax benifits. Also, I seem to remember that a new residential area in Stockholm, Hammarby Sjöstad, is getting a biogas system for heating (and maybe for cooking, I can't remember)...

Either way. Extracting energy from sewage is not a new idea. Extracting heat energy from sewage using a heat pump might be a novel idea, but it's not really any new exciting technology, just a rather clever application of existing technology. Calling it "turning sewer waste to energy" is inaccurate, because the actual sewer waste isn't consumed when you do just, you just cool it down.

Rear end Explosion!!! Don't try this at home. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783983)

A man suffered internal burns when he tried to launch a rocket from his bottom on Bonfire Night.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wear/6132140.st m [bbc.co.uk]

On with the comments :/

Re:Biomass Research at U of MN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16784007)

bwahaha "squeeze more and more useful resources out"

*wipes away tear*

sorry :(

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

Fzz (153115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784021)

...no-one's been able to reply to comments.

Are you sure?

Re:Rear end Explosion!!! Don't try this at home. (1)

nonlnear (893672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784053)

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "moonshot".

Re:*bangs on radiator* (1)

FirmWarez (645119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784071)

This shitty heater never works!
--
Tea. Earl grey. Hot.
Wouldn't that be a good thing if you had planned on making tea?
"From some reason my Earl Grey's a bit darker today..."

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16784095)

erm. A reply. I think.

more details in Trib article (3, Informative)

willy801 (161198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784115)

If you didn't notice this article is a summary from a slightly more detailed article at:

http://www.sltrib.com/search/ci_4602892/ [sltrib.com]

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

ray-auch (454705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784125)

um.... no, I haven't noticed. :-)

Fun-Puter Recovery? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784163)

I was troubled that the science of this plan was lost when Tom erased it from the Fun-Puter. I'm glad his idea is being implemented in SLC (though what about Jefferton?)

Er, um, prima-facia ridiculous, MST3K quote (2, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784167)

In case you didnt get it, some bozon is suggesting they can heat a building with sewer water thbat's at 65 degrees.

As they said on the MST3K parody of "The Mole People":

"Oh NO! Light just slightly brighter than what we're accustomed to!"

You cannot "heat a building 95% of the time" with a temp lower than your desired temperature. Maybe the soft-pedalled HEAT PUMP can. And with water five degrees warmer than the groundwater, the heat pump will be about 1.2% more efficient. Which can never pay off the added cost, not even the interest on the cost. No way, no how. They'd be much better off spending the $20K on a more efficient heat pump.

Who control Bartertown? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784181)

See title.

there, fixed it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16784205)

just don't forget to keep the CTRL-ESC-buttons pushed when clicking on the reply-link

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784231)

Yes, it's certainly terrible how we can't reply to comments.

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784233)

O RLY?

(Testing, testing, 1 2 3, testing...)

Already done (4, Informative)

StompmotS (455206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784237)

This is already done in atleast one city in Sweden, the heat in the cleaned waste water gets transferred to a district heating system by a heat exchange system. And the then cooled down waste water (just above 0C) is used again as district cooling to a hospital.

The methane is usually used to power the waste water plant itself. Also often used as fuel in busses and cars.

Cool, but.. (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784241)

I think its great that people are thinking of ways to recoup some of the energy from waste, but one thing we need to consider is failure cases. If this technology works and we become reliant on it, failure of either the sewer system or the energy system could result in outages. By piggy-backing systems we create more places for a failure to creep in break the system.

Re:*bangs on radiator* (1)

myth24601 (893486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784253)

It really makes you wonder what that smell is when you turn on the heater on the first cold day in the fall.

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

q-the-impaler (708563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784313)

Well, is it broken? Won't know until I try.

Re:Crappy use of taxpayer's dollars? (1)

catprog (849688) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784361)

solar is almost there http://www.greenandgoldenergy.com.au/ [greenandgo...rgy.com.au] (cheaper then mains when there in full production )

Re:The inevitable (1)

vuo (156163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784381)

It's always interesting to see how posters on Slashdot are reinventing the wheel in environmental issues. For example, municipal waste is treated in an anaerobic bioreactor in ASJ Stormossen waste treatment plant in Mustasaari, Finland. Landfill biogas is also collected. A 1998 report. [kolumbus.fi]

A major problem with eco-friendly technology is the relatively undeveloped state of most of the world. Processes like these are novelty in America and practically unheard of in Russia, for example, even if they are becoming commonplace in some areas in Europe. Most of the world's population just dumps the waste somewhere.

Energy from sewer waste? (4, Funny)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784385)

What about the "clean energy" idea?

Re:Crappy use of taxpayer's dollars? (1)

ohearn (969704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784391)

The TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) is already using some methane plants like this from sewer waste for a small part of it's power generation. It has already been proven a usable, cost effective technology, but I don't know how well it scales up. Of course they have also been installing wind farms and solar sites for the last couple years too.

What *I* wanna hear is (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784415)

Who run Bartertown?

-Eric

Re:I *know* it's offtopic...but.... (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784433)

No, I haven't noticed...

Re:Cool, but.. (1)

frogstar_robot (926792) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784481)

This is true of ALL energy sources. If all the energy from all the sources is put on this thing called a "power grid" and the grid is well designed, then the system can survive isolated failures here and there. If the energy is used on-site as a supplement for grid power than failure means things merely get more expensive until the system is fixed.

Re:Trick Question (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784495)

Hey, don't be so anal-retentive! We are in a power shortage here!

Re:Crappy use of taxpayer's dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16784505)

Shouldn't be hard at all in Salt Lake... Very Scalable too because everyone know that the Mormons are Full of Shit!

Reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16784583)

Reply working better now eh...

I wonder (1, Troll)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784637)

if they could tap into the stream of bullshit coming out of SCO...

In Salt Lake City, Huh? (-1, Offtopic)

Prototerm (762512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784679)

The real question is whether they can turn SCO into a company that doesn't act so sh***y

WHIZNews? (3, Funny)

tmh - The Mad Hacker (962953) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784691)

Does anyone else find it funny that an article on sewage is on an Ohio site called "Whiz News"?

Re:Tag Trolling (1)

zacronos (937891) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784705)

Ever heard of a sewer trap [wikipedia.org] ? ;-)

Landfill gas is already being used for power (1)

mstrcat (517519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784749)

Landfill gas (approx 40% methane, 30% CO2, 18% N2, 2% O2) has been used for years as a fuel to run gas engines. The major problem is that it comes loaded with water (typically saturated) and siloxanes (forms SiO2 or glass during combustion). Pretty much it makes a very 2nd rate fuel. However with some cleaning, scrubbing, and some refrigeration, you can nearly everything except the methane, and sell it as natural gas (great fuel compared to gas or diesel). There are companies right now that do that very process. You can expect it to be a growth industry soon, as there are literally 1000's of sites that burn off methane as a waste product. Current technology can produce methane at about $2.30 gasoline equivalent gallon, hence it's likely to stay profitable for a long time to come.

Re:"Just" a heat pump? (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784787)

Feh. It's a good idea, but the simplest thing they could do is dilute / liquefy the sewage and pump it through a FOX reactor. That's what I do, and a day's worth of poo provides enough heat energy to reduce my heating costs by about $150 / year. Not much, mind you, but it was dead-easy to build. If I buried the system, it would be more efficient. It's largeish; if I had a blended human available to me, I'd be able to toss him in.

For those confused, a FOX reactor is simple: Essentially, you're pumping organics and oxygen through a well-heated carbon filter. The carbon grabs onto the organic molecules and they quickly oxidize. Essentially, it's a good catalytic heater. The output is CO2, near-pure water, and heat.

There is energy input, in the liquefier (continuous-flow blender, looks like a paint stirrer in a wide pipe), the pump, the air compressor, and the initial heating of the reactor. The output outweighs this, however, as I capture it in two ways: a turbine (generating electricity; my household heat is off the electrically-heated hot water line), and by using the waste heat as a pre-heater for my hot water line.

Re:Energy from sewer waste? (1)

Ham_belony (820906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784847)

What "clean energy"? It doesn't exist, you should talk about less poluting energy, all the material needed to eventually create cleaner energy still generates tons of polution.

Re:Inaccurate title (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16784919)

...Extracting heat energy from sewage using a heat pump might be a novel idea...
Nope, not that either. Translated from (warning: only in swedish) http://www.goteborgenergi.se/Foretag/Fjarrvarme_DX NI-4027_.aspx [goteborgenergi.se] : "...with heat pumps we extract energy from cleaned sewer water and we also handle waste heat from industries and garbage burning..."

I heard about the sewer water heat pumps in a radio program a couple of years ago. Apparently it's successful enough that they get visits from people interested in implementing similar systems. The system in it self is pretty decentralized which doesn't make it as "high profile" as some visitiors would have wanted. More impressing to build one large plant and having grand opening than implementing a number of smaller stations on a longer timeframe.

Re:Tag Trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16784985)

Ok now imagine your a piece of shit...

Re:The inevitable (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785031)

The new high school around here (Antioch, IL) uses methane from a nearby landfill for energy. I'm not sure how much they get from it, or what it cost, but in the long run it's a better idea than spending more and more to drill for every last bit of natural gas left in the earth.

Its just a heat pump. (1)

waterford0069 (580760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785085)

Really all they are doing is using the sewer system as a large heat source/sink. Nothing really new here. They might be getting some extra heat out of the biology that is happening in the sewer as the effluent goes by, but its not like they are using the waste it self.


Additionally, they may be just moving the heating/cooling problem somewhere else. If they are using any sort of digester's for treating the sewage, the city may need to add/remove heat to bring the sewage up to the best temperature for the "bugs" to work. To cold, to hot, to acidic, to basic, to many hydrocarbons, etc. and you can throw the whole treatment process off.

Re:The inevitable (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785159)

It's always interesting to see how posters on Slashdot are reinventing the wheel in environmental issues.

Actually, it was simply some quickly-typed padding to disguise the real intent of my comment - which was to get the 'itsacrap' tag in use. Successes:
  1. The article is now tagged with 'itsacrap';
       
  2. I got a +1 Informative moderation;
       
  3. Any dissent is being hidden by Slashdot's current reply-hiding ... issues.

Twisting the Slashdot populace to my nefarious will? Absolutely! ;-)

Re:Turbines embeded in pipes? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785219)

At last, the routers in charge of series of tubes will be powered by a discharge from a series of tubes... And a septic tank truck!

FUCk A BITCH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785297)

BS D sDux0rs. What

Re:Crappy use of taxpayer's dollars? (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785479)

Send the money down the toilet! Seriously though, I'm all for alternative energy, but to really make a difference, the technology has to be cost effective and scalable. That is the ONLY way it will ever get adopted. Wind is moving in that direction and I think nuclear is becoming more viable again.... but many other stuff: solar, wave power, etc... has a LONG way to go.
This kind of system in REAL scale is already viable and implemented in Gothenburg for example. The recovered energy from sewage water with heat pumps is 475 GWh per year. Add to that biogas from anaerobic digesters. We need new resources, yes. But we also need to look at how the systems where the resources are used can be improved.

For an overview (PDF Warning!) see: http://www.gryaab.se/admin/actions/upload2/uploads /map1/processchema%20tryck%202006-02-10%20EG%FC.pd f [gryaab.se] It's a one page pdf with both english and swedish captions for the plant parts.

Re:Power outage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785649)

'Tiz true, dead tennets are statistically less likely to complain.

Re:The inevitable (1)

Steffan (126616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785781)

... Cue mass tagging of this article as 'itsacrap'? ;-)

That was my first thought, too... :)

...and my tag suggestion as well

Re:Its just a heat pump. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785931)

The correct spelling is "two."

Shit in your veggies... (2, Informative)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786109)

Columbus, OH had this method in place already. It has been an ongoing project for THE Ohio State University.

The the fact that waste "digestion" produces methane has been known for years.

What got in the way in Columbus was the environmentalists that think that producing our own methane to consume is hazardous to the environment. They stopped the process, and now the solid waste is mixed with mulch and topsoil to create a "Super Fertilizer", which citizens can pay for and use in their landscaping and gardens.

http://www.monolithic.com/gallery/airforms/dystor/ index.html [monolithic.com]

I guess fecal matter in your veggies is more appealing then producing your own form of unlimited energy to these environmentalists.

Maybe they have reinstated the plant, but it wasn't operational when I lived there 2 years ago.

Great news for the fan! (2, Funny)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786457)

Instead of the sh** hitting the fan, it will run it!

Brilliant! (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16787751)

My god, do you realize how much ethanol we can produce by harvesting all the corn? Brilliant!

Only in SLC... (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 7 years ago | (#16787953)

SLC is one of those homogenous communities where 60% of state of Utah population lives. This proves a test bed for wild hared ideas from marketing to engineering and public acceptance.

Its also one of those places where the government is available at an affordable cost to approach schemes like this one where anywhere else it would have an EIR, DOE and USC regs to begin an introduction.

This was done where I worked (1)

Jeff1946 (944062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788039)

Methane from the DC sewage plant was used to heat the Naval Research Lab where I worked for years. One problem is the methane has quite a bit of air and CO2 in it so the facility where it is burned must be able to adjust the air to fuel ratio dynamically. We were next door to sewage plant so connecting to the methane source was no big deal. Of course when the wind came from the south we certainly knew who our next door neighbor was.

Re:Trick Question (1)

d_54321 (446966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788059)

Thus the answer ("There's really no answer") was in error also. There is some number, probably between 1 and 1 million, that will fit the query. Finding the answer may be tricky, but to say it doesn't exist is just wrong.

Lemme hear ya say... (1)

colenski (552404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788133)

This shit...is...bananas! bee ayy enn ayy enn ayy ess

Hey it's no worse than the other shitty jokes in this thread.

Hybrid? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788613)

Supposing
  1. they channel the effluent directly into the Salt Lake
  2. they pass a law mandating that everyone flush at the same time(s)
This should create enough wave energy to extract drinking water [slashdot.org] for the city.

Confusing subject about TFA (1)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788765)

Those of you commenting "my city of X in Y country has had this for years!" have not read TFA.

Burning the methane that is a byproduct of one form of wastewater treatment is neither novel or new. Many, if not most, of these types of wastewater treatment facilities produce a net energy surplus, which is more often than not inputted to the power grid. If you live in a modern city in a developed nation, it would be unusual for your city not to have one or more of these type of facilities.

But that is not what the article is about. The article is about using heat pumps to harness the heat differential between sewage pipes and the ground. At the end of the pipe level, this IS somewhat novel and innovative.

ob Austin Powers Reference (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789743)

"From some reason my Earl Grey's a bit darker today..."


This coffee tastes like shit.

It is shit.

Oh. It's a bit nutty.

Old news really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16791956)

This is already been done in my town to heat a whole district of my town :)

And this is old lowtech norway :)
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