Gee....that'll get my M1 Abrams MBT about 25 miles....too bad I'll get there alone.
James Poch
I don't understand SteveZ's comment. I don't think the article suggested this would power an M1 tank. M1 tanks run on diesel. I just don't understand the hostility? This creates electricity. The waste to energy solution sounds very practical and like all innovation I hope this does scale and become a cost effective way to displace diesel. These military research arms created the internet, GPS, and wouldn't be great if this too could eventually be applied to civilian use.
It could greatly reduce the amount of fuel that needs to be bought and delivered and it takes safely care of sanitary disposal of human waste. But is it more efficient than anaerobic digestion feeding a engine/generator.
Great work! Light-harvesting bacteria converting waste into a liquid medium that can be stored in ordinary tanks and burned in ordinary engines.
So maybe the house of the future will have a special collector panel for sunlight for this system on its roof, and use all of the year-around generated waste from inhabitants and garden/land to ongoingly "breed" a winter's supply of energy.
There's so much stuff out there now, solar hot water systems, photovoltaic systems, super-insulation materials, and new ideas like this one. Combine them all, and I won't bet any money on oil or gas, ever again.
re; BeWalt
Do you really think that all we get from oil is fuel? What about plastics and lubricants?
The figures for this device sound totally unbelievable.60 electric vehicles a day? It makes fuel and electricity, and gets rid of all your waste? Why do they need 2-3million$? This lab is at the US dept. Of energy. Something sounds decidedly strange about all of this. It says it contains GMO. Let's hope it doesn't leak.
R Ohge
this could also be a boon to every kind of Rural based operation imaginable-hey, we're trying to tout "Sustainability"...this kind of tech could go a long way toward that goal-profitably.
I'm the Energy Specialist for 15 remote isolated Native Villages in the Bering Strait Region of Western Alaska. Our villages are not road or grid connected. (For many good reasons that we won't go into here). A few don't have water and sewer (ditto). This isn't the first waste to fuel machine to come along.... ok, perhaps the first to produce a direct petroleum substitute. What I find atractive about this one, however, is its apparently small size. Most biomass digestors are way too large for a village of say 120 people. I believe they looked into it a few years ago for Nome, and even Nome, the regional hub of 3,500 didn't generate enough waste. If this one is smaller, or scalable, it might have some potential here. The Alaska Emerging Energy Technology Grant Fund would have been a good fit for this. It funded technologies that promise to be commercial within 5 years. Unfortunately the AK legislature didn't continue the program last year. Perhaps they'll do something next session. Project developers should keep an eye out for this.
Calvin k
How much does it need to "eat" to produce that amount of output?? A whole village (100+ ppl) worth of waste per day? There is no way to tell if it's efficient given the info in the article.
And this will prob be $$ with the engineered bacteria.
Well,hell,if it works as well as they say,it could be a great start towards distributed power generation. One could supply the power needs of a few dozen homes.Central power generation is dangerous in this day and age,with malware threats from terrorists and the potential for widespread damage to high voltage transformers,which take years to replace.Some of them are in dangerously fragile condition right now.A few pounds of C4 could destroy them,and kill power for millions for months if not years.Geomagnetic storms have the potential of inducing transformer killing currents as well.