5 Wild Energy Alternatives
Since ancient times, it was animals that used to power the most basic of machinery for us. Whether the animals were used for transport, such as horses and camels, or donkeys and bulls alike being used to power farming machinery.
When the industrial revolution came along, our dependence on such methods depreciated rapidly as most machines were then powered by fossil fuels. Now we are on the hunt for long term eco friendly solutions to feed our need for power. The time for animal power may have come again; here are just a few of the animals that could be making a contribution to a greener and more eco friendly energy solution.
Everyone loves a good chicken or turkey for dinner and an egg for breakfast! A major problem with this however is that there is so much waste. What do we do with it? We usually just throw away all of the bits that we don’t want such as the heads, bones, feathers and innards. What if I told you that you could potentially obtain BLACK GOLD using this waste?
The recipe for doing so is actually surprisingly simple (no basting necessary):
1) Grind all poultry waste
2) Add water
3) Heat to 500 degrees F at 600psi
4) Cook for 1 hour
Et Voilla! Black gold.
This process is prevents what would have otherwise been useless agricultural waste and reforms it into clean fuel oil. This is inspired by Mother Nature herself and uses a similar method of heating and pressure in order
to manufacture the materials that have taken thousands of years to from naturally. That is amazing!
Electrophorus Electricus, less formally known as the Electric Eel, is a creature capable of generating a completely eco friendly electrical discharge of up to 600 volts. This is used by the eel (which is actually an air breathing fish) to defend itself, hunt small fish and as a radar system to combat its appallingly bad sight.
Yale has conducted research into more effective methods of capturing this energy
and turning it into an eco friendly fuel for cars.
The main problem is gathering the electricity that the eels produce then transferring it to a fuel cell efficiently and cost effectively before it could possibly be rolled out into mass production. We would need a lot of eels!
This method of electricity generation has been used for the past few years by an aquarium in Toyko, Japan to power their Christmas tree and a Santa Robot at their premises.
How do they do it?
The Eel(s) are placed into a tank that contains two aluminium panels that gather the electricity that it discharges each time it moves. These panels are connected up to the Christmas tree and Santa Robot and that’s it, an eco friendly festive lights display! Magical!
E.coli can be a nasty form of bacteria; it can reside in contaminated food and water sources and cause its consumer to experience diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps. This can also lead small children and the elderly who come into contact with E.coli to experience kidney failure in severe cases.
E.coli, like other living organisms, has its own survival methods for when limited nutrients are available to it by way of storing fatty acids that aren’t unlike polyester. The fatty acids that the bacteria stores are the same ones needed for the production of biodiesel. This is where E.coli can tie in to energy generation and why scientists are working on ways to genetically modify E.coli to overproduce those acids. How scientists are trying to achieve this is by removing enzymes from the bacteria to increase fatty acid production and dehydrating the acid to remove the oxygen, this turns the substance into a substitute fossil fuel, biodiesel. This is great because biofuels are said to be carbon neutral as they release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as the plants they are made from absorbed.
It’s strange that a substance which can create such human discomfort is capable of producing something that could potentially help to save the planet.
Our affect on the planet and the fact that our oceans are now becoming more acidic than ever mean that the jellyfish population is thriving! What’s more, considering jellyfish aren’t really remarked as a tasty snack, a way is being researched to convert these jelly fish hoards into bio fuel for nano devices that can be used to power items such as medical equipment.
This is achieved through converting the jelly fish into liquid then extracting Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) which is also the substance that makes the jellyfish glow in the dark! This goopey substance acts like the dye used in current “dye-sensitised” solar cells, however GFP doesn’t require additional materials such as titanium dioxide particles, which can be quite expensive. Instead it can just be directly added on top of electrodes, which makes the process more cost effective. GFP can be combined with enzymes found in bioluminescent animals, such as jelly fish, which results in the generation of an inexpensive and eco friendly power source. Scientists are already trying to remove the need for capturing these animals by attempting to engineer GFP cells replica cells in labs; this could cut costs further and result in yet another eco friendly power source.
There’s eMOOgy in cattle
Cows and other livestock have been found by the UN to be responsible for 18% of the planets green house gas emissions which means they collectively excrete more green house gases than all man-made transportation methods put together. The gas that cows produce is thought to be 21x more efficient than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere which is cause for concern.
Thankfully, methods have already been developed to collect some of this useful yet harmful gas from the cows feces, a method that produces biofuel that is of
good enough quality to be pumped straight into the gas pipeline. This extraction has already been used to product 650,000 ft of biogas which is enough to power 200,000 homes!
Other methods of using this gas and protecting the atmosphere are currently coming into play. For example, in Argentina where the cattle population outweighs the human population, at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology have developed a special Bovine cattle back pack to capture this gas through a tube that is connected to the cows stomach, by using this method scientists have found that the animals can produce between 800 and 1000 litres of gas daily! That’s enough energy to power a car or a fridge for 48 hours!
Make a Saving for Your Business
With more and more crazy ways of generating power being discovered every day, there must be a solution or collection of solutions that can contribute to a brighter future for all of us. The search continues!
Until such a time when these methods are avaliable to the average consumer, Love Energy Savings is here to help you find the best energy deal for you and your business using more conventional methods. Over 48,000 UK businesses have already switched through us and collectively saved over £66million from doing so.
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