Green Room

Powered by What?

posted at 12:55 pm on April 21, 2009 by

I’ll admit to not being much of a greenie. I mean, I recycle, but that’s about it. But I’m a little bit fascinated, in a nerdy way, with what technology is going to replace gasoline and coal. Because something’s going to have to replace it, and fairly soon, right?

We had solar panels to heat our pool when I was a little kid, and they seemed to work well enough. Wind farms are pretty cool, if you can find room for them. Nuclear, obviously, is clean and super-efficient if you can just convince the hysterical naysayers. And good luck with that.

It’s all interesting and yet we’ve heard it all. And then somebody comes along with this:

Yamaha Motor Co. has taken alternative power to a new level with a cow-painted golf cart powered by poo. Well, not directly, but the vehicle runs off poo-derived methane.

In Japan’s Katori region, in Biomass Town to be exact, cow poo is processed into biofuel and then ultimately into methane gas. The bovinesque golf cart gets a tank of low pressure methane with a newly developed active carbon technology.

Ok, they’re still at golf cart status, so we’re not going to have to make any major livestock purchases any time soon. But it’s clever. I guess.

So where’s the next revolution coming from? Or is it coming at all?

Would you feel safe driving a car that had some kind of nuclear core? Or one you had to plug in? Or powered by poo? Is this kind of weirdly, perhaps a little antisocially, ingenious? Or is it just a bunch of silly bull… you know.

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I knew I kept ole Bessie around for a reason.

Fuquay Steve on April 21, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Or one you had to plug in?

The problem with things that plug in, is where that energy comes from, usually it’s from burning coal in America. It can be hydro-electric, but this where we really need nuclear.

Running stuff on poo is fine, but with every reaction to produce energy, there are always waste materials…what are those? No matter what they are, they are surely bad, and will kill us all and the earth!

The best solution is if all liberals would just hold their breath until they die.

kirkill on April 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Methane is methane, one of many carbon-ring molecules, IIRC. Doesn’t matter to me if it comes from cow {fertilizer} or human {sewage} or swamp gas, it’s just as burnable.

Driving around in a car with a nuclear core would make me slightly nervous, I like my genes the way they are, eh?

Plug-in electric is great, as long as I don’t end up stuck in traffic and run out of juice. Will it come with a pedal to re-charge the battery and get a workout? (if so, will it come with a towel to mop up the sweat?)

Mew

acat on April 21, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Wait, you had a pool as a kid, Richie Rich?

Matt on April 21, 2009 at 1:38 PM

If it works efficiently, it should be a short bridge to municipal sewage treatment plants-methane-fuel.

If it works efficiently.

cs89 on April 21, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Recycle? Don’t be fooled. All the trash goes to the same dump.

erp on April 21, 2009 at 5:23 PM

The only technology I would trust would be a lightning bolt channeled through a clock tower.

trubble on April 21, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Will it come with a pedal to re-charge the battery and get a workout?

acat on April 21, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Perhaps a little trap door in the floorboard, so you can use the Fred Flintstone method.

Tanya on April 21, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Wait, you had a pool as a kid, Richie Rich?

Matt on April 21, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Funnily, diving into a pool full of gold coins is more painful than it looks.

Tanya on April 21, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Bartertown runs on pig $hit :)

Mike in GB on April 21, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Methane is methane, one of many carbon-ring molecules, IIRC

YRI. Methane is a single carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms in a tetrahedral arrangement. Ethane is two carbon atoms bonded to each other, with six hydrogen atoms filling out the remaining bonds. Propane is three carbon atoms in a chain, with eight hydrogen atoms.

The simplest carbon-ring molecule is Benzene, which has six carbon atoms in a hexagonal ring, and one hydrogen atom bonded to each of the carbons.

The Monster on April 22, 2009 at 8:16 AM