The Denver Zoo Made A Poop-Powered Rickshaw

Senior Writer
04.04.12 5 Comments

Last October, we brought you the incredible but in no way surprising story that the Japanese company TOTO had created a motorcycle with a toilet for an engine. That’s right, it was a poop-powered motorcycle. And if you’re like me, you were probably wondering, “What the heck, America? Where’s our poop-powered engine technology?” Well flush those concerns, fellow countrymen, because we’re right on Japan’s heels. Just hopefully not downwind.
The fecal geniuses at the Denver Zoo recently completed a successful maiden voyage of their very own poop-powered rickshaw, or a three-wheeled tuk tuk that runs on animal feces and human trash. Doc Brown doesn’t seem like such a lunatic now, does he?

Austin and Blake’s Tuk Tuk, sponsored by the Autrey Foundation, was created to test the poop to power gasification technology planned for use in Denver Zoo’s new 10-acre exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage. Denver Zoo has built this innovative system from scratch and expects to implement the full system in the Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit by the end of the year. Furthering the zoo’s efforts to be a national leader in sustainability, the gasification system will convert more than 90 percent of the zoo’s waste into usable energy, eliminating 1.5 million pounds of trash currently going to landfills annually.
“We wanted an innovative energy solution that would help us eliminate our landfill waste. We immediately considered ways to create energy from animal poop and human trash. The result is astounding – an energy solution that can create clean energy from trash,” says VP for Planning and Capital Projects George Pond. (Via the Denver Zoo)

Do you guys know how incredible this is? Not only can zoos now power their facilities using the waste that animals produce and the trash that humans throw away while watching the monkeys do it, but Disney’s Animal Kingdom actually has a reason to keep its animals from dying! Even better, I don’t have to be outraged every time my neighbor’s boxer craps on the sidewalk, because soon I’ll be able to just scoop it up and use it to power my chainsaw as I drop a telephone pole on his Mercedes.
Check out the power of poop fuel for yourself on the pages that follow and then call your local car dealerships and demand some doodie engine technology.
(Images and video via Flickr/Denver Zoo)

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