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Apr. 22, 2011

Planet-preserving potty power pilot program

by Neil Wagner

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From a funny and informative post by Todd Woody at Grist:

“…the California Energy Commission on Wednesday handed out nearly $1 million to fund an experimental project to convert what it politely refers to as “biosolids” into electricity… Biosolids are a nasty pollution problem; beyond human waste, they can also include a sludge of heavy metals and other toxins left over from wastewater treatment. While in some cases biosolids can be used as fertilizer for crops, they most often have to be disposed of in landfills… A Bay Area company called Intellergy will use “steam/carbon dioxide reforming” technology to vaporize liquid residues and gasify the organic solid portion of biosolids in an airlock chamber. The company will pump in steam and carbon dioxide to create a hydrogen-rich gas that could be used in fuel cells to generate electricity.”

Fuel cell info from MSNBC: “…the hydrogen and oxygen can be [combined] to keep the electricity flowing, producing pure water in the process.”

The Intellergy site

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT ON EARTH?…

Interview: Katie Kline, Communications Officer at Ecological Society of America interviewed me via Skype for the ESA’s Ecotone blog. Read and hear it here.

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About Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner's What on Earth? comic strip uses humor to discuss global warming.

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