The Stinkiest Fuel on Earth

As energy prices spike, even smelly fuel sources look attractive

Llama
law_keven (CC Licensed)

Will Brinton, the founder of Woods End Laboratories, a bioenergy consultancy, predicts a future without landfills. Instead we'll use table scraps and sewage to power our homes. Just dump the waste into a household digester, and bacteria will break it down and release the natural gas methane. Farms could sell their copious poop-based energy supplies back to the grid. But how much energy do animals yield? We ran the numbers and found that you might want to consider a pet elephant.

MANURE MAKER DAILY OUTPUT METHANE YIELD POOP POWER
Elephant 200 pounds 230 feet3/day 39 kilowatts*
Cow 120 95 16
Llama 16 18 3
Pig 2.5 3 0.5
Dog 0.75 1 0.2
Chicken 0.2 0.3 0.05

*The average U.S. household consumes 30 kilowatts a day.

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