Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
The Denver Zoo's new-found power source is a little bit surprising – the zoo’s engineers have found a way to run a tuk-tuk on animal poo. [...]

Biofuels

Denver Zoo Creatively Fuels Tuk-Tuk With Animal Waste

The Denver Zoo’s new-found power source is a little bit surprising – the zoo’s engineers have found a way to run a tuk-tuk on animal poo. […]

 
Denver Zoo Turns Poo Into Fuel

The image of the garbage-burning DeLorean from Back to the Future II is iconic for the 80s, but despite efforts, as of yet, no one has managed to make a car actually run on trash. The Denver Zoo is coming closer, though, with a new-found power source that is a little bit surprising — the zoo’s engineers have found a way to run a tuk-tuk on animal poo.

Having many animals and many visitors, the Denver Zoo also has to deal with disposing of a lot of organic waste; thousands and thousands of pounds a year. Its first foray into poo as fuel was with a margarita machine, which presumably made perfectly drinkable margaritas. Then the folks at the zoo really got creative.

Tuk-Tuks For The Win

A tuk-tuk is a sort of motorized cart, and if you do not find it as awesome as I do, I shall quietly weep for you. It’s a cute little fuel-efficient way to get around, with three wheels for extra fun. Of course, despite using as little fuel as they do, tuk-tuks still need something to get around. One fuel-efficient three-wheeler plus a desire on the part of the Denver Zoo engineers to prove that they weren’t completely insane equals a very unique little vehicle.

The zoo’s power source is certainly one way around expensive electric battery packs; as reported by the Denver Post, one engineer was quite insistent that their research makes perfect sense:

“We want to show people that we’re not crazy for wanting to take elephant poop and turn it into energy.”

Well, I think they’re quite sane and even reasonable. The poo gets turned into pellets. When heated, the pellets produce syngas. The gas drives a generator, and the generator powers the tuk-tuk’s battery. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry; the take-away is that the poo-powered tuk-tuk is clean, quiet, and odor-free.

Potentially, a use for larger vehicles in the future? Given the increasing population of the Earth and the finite amount of both fossil fuels, and also room to store waste, I definitely think so — but what about you? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source: Grist
Image: Wikimedia Commons

 
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

Comments

You May Also Like

Copyright © 2022 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.