Thursday, February 08, 2007

Scientists develop portable generator that turns trash into electricity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A group of scientists have created a portable refinery that efficiently converts food, paper and plastic trash into electricity. The machine, designed for the U.S. military, would allow soldiers in the field to convert waste into power and could have widespread civilian applications in the future.

Researchers tested the first tactical biorefinery prototype in November and found that it produced approximately 90 percent more energy than it consumed, said Jerry Warner, founder of Defense Life Sciences LLC, a private company working with Purdue researchers on the project. He said the results were better than expected.


This would seem to be a useful device for emergency situations in cities, for running hospital and other emergency equipment. If a reasonably priced model could be developed for civilian use, it would be good for small farms and ranches.

10 comments:

Kenny said...

I would be good camping as well. I would look at somnething like that.

Karen said...

It would be great for anyone to have for emergencies or those who live far away from power sources. It's actually a great idea for everyone to use and would cut down on our garbage.

Hammer said...

The discovery channel showed a large one that could conceivably take all of a cities carbon based waste and turn it into power for a large city.

It was powered by the methane given off by the rotting garbage.

BobG said...

Back in the Sixties, I remember reading about a farmer who used to heat his shop and such with methane. He had a set up consisting of a 50gal drum, a large innertube (it functioned as a pressure regulator), and some assorted bits of plumbing that he cobbled together for next to nothing. Once a month he would dump out some nice compost for the garden, toss in a few shovels of horseshit, and it was off running in a few hours, pumping out methane to be used for heat.

B&N said...

I'd be interested in such a device as well, again, as you stated, if it could be brought to market at reasonable cost. Heck, if something like this can be built for high duty-cycle use and engineered for 100-200A output, you could cut off the power company completely.

Even if you needed to replace it every 10-20 years, I'm thinking it would still be a good deal.

Steven Novak said...

So if I throw in Paris Hilton...will it work? ;)

Steve~

BobG said...

"So if I throw in Paris Hilton...will it work? ;)"

Probably, but it might need a good steam cleaning afterwards...

dr.alistair said...

i had a girlfriend who used to turn trash into electricity once...........


certainly got me cranked.

KurtP said...

90% efficient?
Kinda like cold fusion?

Sounds like someone's trying to get investors to produce a "workable" model.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

How many hippies can you put into it at one time?