How To Turn Poop Into Power

How To Turn Poop Into Power

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We could generate a lot of usable energy from human and animal poop through greater adoption of a process for using microbes to break down poop into methane gas.

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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Anaerobic digestion: a sequence of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen
Methanogens: a methane-producing bacterium, especially an archaean which reduces carbon dioxide to methane
Wastewater treatment: a process used to remove contaminants from wastewater or sewage and convert it into an effluent that can be returned to the water cycle with minimum impact on the environment, or directly reused
Biogas: the mixture of gases produced by anaerobic digestion of organic matter, primarily consisting of methane and carbon dioxide, which can be used as a renewable energy source


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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer, Director, and Narrator: Julián Gustavo Gómez (@thejuliangomez)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Sarah Berman, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:


Andriani, Dian, et al. “A review of recycling of human excreta to energy through biogas generation: Indonesia case.” Energy Procedia 68 (2015): 219-225.

Karki, Amrit B. “Biogas as renewable energy from organic waste.” Journal (2009).

Hatchett, Allison N. “Bovines and Global Warming: How the Cows are Heating Things Up and What Can Be Done to Cool Them Down.” Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 29 (2004): 767.

Onojo, O. J., et al. “Estimation of the electric power potential of human waste using students hostel soak-away pits.” American Journal of Engineering Research, 02 (9) (2013): 198-203.

“RCA Issue Brief #7.” Animal Manure Management, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Dec. 1997,

“Electricity Generation from Biogas.” Energypedia,

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