Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Power of the Pooh

It looks like San Antonio is going to take us to the next step in reusing and recycling our waste and reducing our dependence on coal - they're harnessing the power of Pooh.  

It's a process that's similar to the exchange that goes on in landfills, but it's concentrated and produces a lot more. The city of San Antonio estimates that the water treatment facility produces 1.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.  The city plans on selling 900,000 cubic feet a day to a Massachusetts based energy company for $250,000.00 per year. 

I've written about Methane exchange before, about how all across South Carolina Communities are developing their landfills into power plants. Just imagine if our metropolitan areas, though vastly smaller than San Antonio started converting our pooh plants to power plants? What if our rural communities came together in their efforts regionally to process their wastes into clean burning natural gas. 

I wonder how many watts, or mega watts can be produced from our collected efforts?

Now to temper the ideal with a pinch of the real, as I've also noted before - even though it's a novel approach to our energy needs, and Lord knows we need all the ingenious approaches we can right now, the unfortunate reality is that these community efforts though they'll put a dent in our consumption of fossil fuel won't take us off the juice. But that's ok, each new facility adds new clean energy to the power grid and reduces by all that much more the need for dirty sources of energy like coal (i know, the irony right?!).

So congrats to San Antone - Mayor Bob are you reading this?

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