Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Power from poop

Last week, Greer the Archdruid issued a challenge.
I’m delighted to announce a new contest here on The Archdruid Report, the Great Squirrel Case Challenge of 2015. The goal is to come up with the most absurd new energy technology you can think of, and write either the giddily dishonest corporate press release or the absurdly sycophantic media article announcing it to the world. If you or a friend can Photoshop an image or two of your proposed nonsolution to the world’s energy needs, that’s all the better. Post your press release or media article on your blog if you have one; if you don’t, you can get one for free from Blogspot or Wordpress. Post a link to your piece in the comments section of this blog.

Entries must be posted here by February 28, 2012.
It took me until the next day to come up with an idea, which I mentioned to my students in the context of recovering waste energy--power from poop.  What I told them involved two methods to retrieve energy from sewers.  First, recover all the waste heat from hot water flushed down the drain into sewers as well as the heat produced by decomposition.  Second, recover the methane from sewage decomposition and use it to supplement natural gas.  Those ideas grossed out my students, which told me I was on the right path.  My concerns are that these are not original ideas and they might actually be too practical to qualify for the contest.  Even so, they sound ridiculous to most people, and therefore might sneak on by.

I'll write the press release/article later.  Right now, I'm recovering from a cold and am three weeks behind on work for the Coffee Party, so I don't have the energy and would have to spend it on something else anyway.


  1. this one? they try it here in europe not a net energy miracle...

    1. Oh, I'm quite aware this isn't a great solution to our energy issues. In fact, that's why I'm entering it in Greer's contest. One or the other may be practical at a local level, but I'm pretty sure neither will scale up.