Tuesday, 8 December 2009

'Poo power' reduces emissions


Human waste is processed and made into blocks which are burned make electricity. The water/sewerage firm says it saved £15m last year - by using human waste.

In 2008/09, Thames Water generated 14% of its power from either burning sludge or methane derived from the 2.8 billion litres of sewage it treats every day. The company hopes the move will ultimately help it cut greenhouse gases by 20%.

More than 13 million people in London, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Surrey are served by Thames Water.

Dr Keith Colquhoun, Thames Water's climate change strategy manager, said: "There's no polite way of saying this but what we produce - our poo - isn't simply waste, it's a great source of energy. "The solids in sewage have a high calorific content that we use to generate electricity.
"This isn't a gimmick. As well as helping us to be more sustainable as a company, it also saves money - £15m less of customers' cash spent on National Grid energy last year alone, which ultimately has a downward pressure of bills. "Our goal is to cut greenhouse emissions by 20% on 1990 levels by 2020 - that's about 200,000 tonnes less CO2. "By using poo power and other renewable energy sources, we're making significant progress towards this target."

Perhaps the council collected dog poo could go to the same place.

The picture is from this site which compares poo power to nuclear power!

Update; Swedish Trains run on mainly cow poo, using biogas from 2005.
It takes 2.5 cows to produce enough biogas to move the train 1 mile.
One cubic metre of clean biogas is approximately the equivalent of 1 litre of petrol.
Biogas does less damage to the environment because it reduces the amount of waste going to landfill and has cleaner emissions.

See also Daily Kos

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