Life On Earth
Denver Zoo Turns Waste Into Energy
Science has proven that not only can one man's trash be another man's treasure, but also that it can be the same man's treasure. This case as no exception, as the people at the Denver Zoo have started using rickshaws powered by gasified pellets made out of animal feces and garbage left behind by human visitors.
The rickshaw itself was brought in from Thailand, but the gasification technology which allows them to be powered by feces was designed by the employees of the zoo with a little help from the National Renewable Energy Lab in Boulder, Colorado. The patent for the technology is pending, while Denver Zoo's prototype is being looked at by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
If this kind of technology could be developed by zoo employees, then it can't be too complicated or costly to mass-produce. It also kills two birds with one stone by taking care of waste and finding a potential substitute for gasoline. After all, if it can power a rickshaw, then then it's only a matter of time until it can power a car. The zoo plans to use this technology to power a 10-acre elephant exhibit and hopes that 90% of its energy will come from waste in the near future, which would give the zoo 1.5 million pounds less garbage to send to landfills.
By Denis Ivanov
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