Sunday, January 17, 2016

Two things that surprised me: poop and phones

TIL, res-econ style....

Grand Junction, Colorado, is getting its power by processing waste, including food waste and manure as well as human waste. Wow! Apparently you just stir in some bacteria, catch the resulting methane, and burn it like the natural gas it is. There are a number of reasons this won't be feasible everywhere, with the chief one being that the fuel source is expensive to transport, but it's exciting to think about. If we can build more such plants near sewage treatment plants, maybe we can get more use from this already greenhouse-damaging emissions source.

Did you know that it's not a good idea to charge your phone in the car? If every car in the US was charging a single phone all the time, the emitted CO2 is equivalent to having over 185,000 extra cars on the road! Wow. Although the amount of energy used is relatively small, it cuts your miles per gallon by about 0.03. Apparently it's much more efficient to charge it at home.

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