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Idle Science Technology

Poo-Powered Rickshaw Unveiled At the Denver Zoo 52

novenator writes "Today the Denver Zoo has unveiled the world's first poo/trash-powered motorized tuk tuk. The vehicle also boast a gasification system designed by the zoo itself. From the article: 'The tuk tuk was purchased from Thailand and then re-designed to run on gasified pellets made from animal droppings and waste generated by the zoo's staff and human visitors, according to The Denver Post. The poo-powered tuk tuk is the second prototype The Denver Zoo has put together to show off their sustainable energy system -- the first? A blender used to mix margaritas at a zoo event.'"

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Poo-Powered Rickshaw Unveiled At the Denver Zoo

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @12:24PM (#39497663)

    Spend an entire paragraph talking about feces, and then mention a blender? I don't know what's really in those margaritas, but I would stay as far as away as possible.

  • ...there should be plenty of raw material available.
  • Prior art!
  • Wonder if my diarrhea will be considered high octane type of gas since it's lethal if you visit my bathroom... most of the time.
    • Perhaps you should check your diet. Diarrhea all the time isn't really healthy. I have a friend who had the problem, then he finally found out that he was allergic to glutton, after the diet change he felt like a million dollars. And the bathroom stayed a lot cleaner.
  • by Dthief ( 1700318 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @12:30PM (#39497741)
    they say they are using the visitors' and staffs' poos, what about from the animals????
    • re-designed to run on gasified pellets made from animal droppings


    • Yeah, you'd think the chimps would refeul this thing as it drove by by flinging poo at it.
    • It runs on "gasified pellets made from animal droppings and waste generated by the zoo's staff and human visitors"


    • I remember my local zoo growing up would sell bags of animal poo for people to put on their gardens. Legend has it that it was great for keeping stray cats away, as they would smell the lion and tiger poo and run scared. I can't really talk from experience though...

    • "Two tigers, one cup?"

  • Don't light a match behind it. Actually, don't stand behind it.

  • Does anyone know what a "gasified pellet" is? The article is devoid of any useful information about how this thing works.

    I get the impression that this is just a publicity stunt, like all the claims about "solar powered blah-blah" when the "blah-blah" really runs on electricity that just happens to come from solar. Is this just a gas powered tuk-tuk, and the gas just happens to come from an animal manure fermenter?

    • Re:Gasified Pellet? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Xenkar ( 580240 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @12:42PM (#39497885)

      Step 1: burn combustible materials like dried wood, dried yard clippings, and/or dried animal droppings to produce carbon monoxide gas.
      Step 2: direct carbon monoxide gas into combustion engine where it acts like any other combustible gas with the right fuel/air/compression mixture.
      Step 3: drive around with trollface on because you aren't paying gas taxes while getting rid of a bunch of yard clippings you would have let decompose in your backyard or bagged up for the trash man.

      It is carbon neutral unless you are using oil-based fertilizers all over your lawn/trees. Otherwise decomposing would have released any trapped carbon anyway.

  • by Marc_Hawke ( 130338 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @12:33PM (#39497769)

    I've heard that certain types of biofuel vehicles smell like French Fries when they drive past. What does this smell like?

    Should it be called a 'Fart-Mobile?'

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      I've heard that certain types of biofuel vehicles smell like French Fries when they drive past. What does this smell like?

      Should it be called a 'Fart-Mobile?'

      This might sound kind of strange, but coming from a family with fairly large animals (my grandfather owns several horses, at one time owned cattle, and lives next to a cattlefarm), the odor from animal waste can actually become rather pleasant (as long as it's not fresh and concentrated, at least), particularly when blended in with other traditional barnyard smells: sweet feed, hay, etc. I have gotten to where I actually enjoy the smell of a barn or zoo, as the smells are very similar. So a vehicle driven

      • "The smell of the land" you wouldn't be the first nor the last to say this. It's not weird, esp for those who have worked around farms for a long time. It's the smell of home, something you recognize and have fond memories with. I think a good example is that my fathers house leaks water when it rains (the sump pump doesn't do shit) so the basement constantly has mold, but to be honest, I'm rather fond of the smell of there house because it makes me think of home.

        Just fond memories associated with the sm
  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @12:35PM (#39497795)

    I'm sorry- but if you're going to use my poo to power your rickshaw- I expect to be paid for it. I worked long and hard producing that poo.

  • How dare they! Don't they know this will end up destroying someone's livelihood! []

  • that Slashdot stories are getting shittier.
  • Are they allowing others to use/refine their design? i would love to see these in San Fransisco powered by tourist and bum feces. That being said, who wants to set up a non profit with me? Shit that can save the world!
  • It's great that they have this Pooh Powered Tuk Tuk, but how green is it if they are driving it across the country on a publicity tour in a trailer towed behind a 12mpg pickup truck.

  • I have no shame, but even I wouldn't ride around in a rickshaw with my pants around my ankles to drop a load while I am transported from the hyenas to the hippos....unless they gave me a newspaper to cover my face with.
  • If we can take this stinking mess and make energy from it, we should. This is literally free energy since we're all little poop factories by virtue of being biological. I'm not against solar or wind (hehe) power, but if we get free energy from feces, I'd at least like to recoup the savings and re-invest in some delicious food.

  • by mr1911 ( 1942298 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:20PM (#39498921)
    GM, under government ownership, gives us the wildly successful Chevy Volt. The Dept. of Energy produces squat, unless anyone considers Solyndra a bragging point. A bunch of zookeepers with an elephant exhibit sponsored by Toyota design a gassification system to utilize organic waste that, at a minimum, reduces the amount of zoo waste sent offsite and potentially has further reaching benefits and uses.

    The best discussion on Slashdot is a bunch of poo jokes.

    Kudos to the zoo and its staff.
  • Seriously? It should be from the dark-power dept.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake