Dog poo-powered street lamp gets tails waggingPosted: Updated:
A British inventor hopes to change the public's perception of dog poop by demonstrating its potential as fuel to power street lighting.
Brian Harper was frustrated by the dog droppings left near his home.
He spent several years developing the first model of his dog-poo powered lamp.
It took testing and analyzing about 100-pounds of fecal matter to figure out how much bio-gas he could get from the material.
"It's been a journey of discovery because there is so little knowledge about bio digesting dog poo anywhere in the world," Harper said. "We've had to find out from square one how it behaves, what is the best way to bio-digest it. That took a great deal of time because it takes around five weeks or so for the dog poo to go through the digester, and that way you can make a change and it takes a long while to see if anything has happened."
Different breeds of dogs produce varying amounts of 'fuel,' but about 10 bags of dog waste will produce enough bio-gas to keep a light running for two hours.
"The aim here isn't to produce masses of bio-gas," said Harper. "The aim is to produce a solution to the dog poo problem. Here in the UK, you're talking about 700,000 tons of dog poo is spread over the nation every year. In America, it's 10 million tons. But of course, it's even worse than that when it's all concentrated in tight areas."
The response from dog walkers has been very positive since Harper installed the lamp earlier this year.
His company is now refining the lamp and offering it up to early adopters, particularly public parks, around the world that are looking for environmentally friendly ways to deal with dog piles.
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