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Wouldn't it be cool if your compost pile generated electricity?

 
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303190535.htm

Scientists have just figured out that riboflavin is the key ingredient to help bacteria that eat waste to generate electricity.

Basically, they cultured some bacteria colonies around electrodes, and then when they upped the riboflavin concentration of the bacteria's diet, electricity production went through the roof.  Riboflavin (vitamin b-12) has some magical properties that let it act as a conduit between living cells and electrodes. Cool!

In theory, wastewater treatment facilities could go energy-neutral by letting the bacteria treat the water and generate power for the facility simultaneously.

To get it to a point where your home compost pile is generating power is going to require a few more significant advances, but it certainly is interesting considering the possibilities!
 
gardener
Posts: 231
Location: Central IL
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Wow, this is really neat!  I wonder how much wattage they can produce.

That would really weird to be able to say that you have a compost-pile fueled car (sometime in the future).  Emissions?  Compost.  Little lines of compost everywhere.  Sounds like I'm poking fun, but this really does sound cool.

-Jeremy
 
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This reminds me of a digital clock I had as a kid that was powered with a potato.
 
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sol you stole my words
 
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Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Not surprisingly, B12 has been known to increase energy levels in humans... eat your brown rice. 
 
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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B-12 is not found in brown rice, it comes from meat and/or some bacteria.

And Riboflavin is not B-12, it is B-2.

To read more about electricity from bacteria, check out Microbial Fuel Cells.
 
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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MJ Solaro wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303190535.htm

Scientists have just figured out that riboflavin is the key ingredient to help bacteria that eat waste to generate electricity.

Basically, they cultured some bacteria colonies around electrodes, and then when they upped the riboflavin concentration of the bacteria's diet, electricity production went through the roof.  Riboflavin (vitamin b-12) has some magical properties that let it act as a conduit between living cells and electrodes. Cool!

In theory, wastewater treatment facilities could go energy-neutral by letting the bacteria treat the water and generate power for the facility simultaneously.

To get it to a point where your home compost pile is generating power is going to require a few more significant advances, but it certainly is interesting considering the possibilities!




You have no idea how bad that technology is needed on Coastal Oregon, and a biochar one too.  Thanks for the heads up, looks like I got some thinking to do.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
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Jeremy Bunag wrote:
Wow, this is really neat!  I wonder how much wattage they can produce.

That would really weird to be able to say that you have a compost-pile fueled car (sometime in the future).  Emissions?  Compost.  Little lines of compost everywhere.  Sounds like I'm poking fun, but this really does sound cool.

-Jeremy




Isn't that right out of that sci-fi film with Michael J. Fox?
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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Microbial cells have a very low wattage per unit of area.  They also require a very specific feedstock.  It is not a compost pile, like in your back yard.  It resembles sewage sludge, like what is in your septic tank.

But, they are very interesting, and just about anyone can build one at home.
 
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Location: Texas
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Jean Pain method.
 
gardener
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Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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Abe am I correct in seeing this more as a sludge methane generation /electricity setup rather than a compost heap water heating setup.
 
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Location: The Edge of Faerie
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Absolutely awesome. This is what I like: harnessing electricity/plasma for permaculture methods.

Makes sense in an Electric Universe.

Excellent post.
 
Abe Connally
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Saybian Morgan wrote:Abe am I correct in seeing this more as a sludge methane generation /electricity setup rather than a compost heap water heating setup.

yes, it is more like methane setup than aerobic compost pile.
 
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