Thursday, January 12, 2012


Why are we fracking for natural gas - which is mainly methane - when we could be setting up biogas plants right alongside our sewage treatment facilities to produce the same thing and solve an enormous waste management problem, at the same time? 
Who needs nuclear fuel rods to heat up water and spin turbines - and the specter of more Fukushimas - when we ALL create this cheap, abundant and sustainable source of energy. To not make use of this vast resource is - utterly wasteful! Seriously, this Seattle, Washington operation is very impressive.
The technology was put into use in the UK back in 2006. Ludlow, my home town, operates the country's first biodigester that produces both electricity and a high quality soil enricher as a byproduct of food waste. the plant is helping to keep 5,000 tonnes of food waste out of landfill every year. It also uses the methane gas created to generate over 1.5 million kWh of 'green' electricity. The site, run by Greenfinch Biogen is entirely self sufficient in power and even exports some of the electricity to the national grid.
In some parts of the UK anaerobic digesters are already being used to generate electricity from human refuse, but this summer British Gas in a partnership with Thames Water and Scotia Gas Networks will start piping biomethane from the sewage system - which is derived from fecal matter - right back into the homes of 130 customers in Didcot in Oxfordshire. The new gas will take 23 days to complete its waste treatment cycle and when it enters homes will smell just like natural gas. 
I personally believe that power needs to be generated and used locally wherever possible. How about an anaerobic digester at every chicken and pig production plant, as well at every sewer plant in the US for starters?  These could supply ALL of the heat and power needed by that plant with plenty of excess going back into the grid. Yes, I know that "BIG COAL" and "BIG GAS" hate the idea, but with 7 Billion people on the planet, we have to realise that fossil fuels are a finite resource.. but we will never stop pooping!

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