Holy shih tzu, this woman wants to power homes with dog poo

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Petr Vaclavek
When your dog goes number two, what do you do? Daintily pick it up with the plastic bag you have wrapped around your hand? Let the dog walker take care of it? Leave it for the poor schlub who wore sandals that day to find? In any event, that’s valuable fuel that you could be using to power your phone.

At least, that’s the idea behind designer Océane Izard’s Poo Poo Power. Very much a concept at this point, the device is meant to solve two problems: the dwindling resources the world uses to power their gadgets and the excrement they leave all over the sidewalk when their dog does its business.

To use the Poo Poo Power, users would pick up their dogs’ poop with a biodegradable bag then put it in the machine, where special bacteria would turn it into methane that could then be transformed into electricity and stored in the unit’s removable batteries. The next time an appliance needs a charge, they could grab one of the waste-fueled batteries and power up.

Of course, your little Chihuahua isn’t going to be as useful as your neighbor’s Dalmatian. “For a beagle, it creates between 250 and 340 grams of feces per day. This allows you to run a fan for two hours,” Izard tells Fast Company. “For a German dog, it’s twice as much. It could almost run your fridge.”

As crazy as it sounds, Izard isn’t the first to think of the potential power stored in animal waste. Just recently, the Detroit Zoo announced its plan to utilize some of the 400 to 500 tons of feces its animals produce every year make power. The zoo will invest in a larger-scale version of Izard’s device called a biodigester, which will break down the waste into methane-rich gas to power the Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex. The project should save the facility money in both energy cost and waste disposal.

The power of poop!


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