Animal poop powers the Denver Zoo's motorised rickshaw

Animal poop powers the Denver Zoo’s motorised rickshaw

The Denver Zoo has commissioned, for their own use, a ‘tuk-tuk’ that runs on the zoo-visitor’s trash and animal droppings.

As per the Denver Post, the three-wheeled motorized rickshaw is believed to be the first hybrid-electric-gasified tuk-tuk. The modded vehicle will go on a roadtrip, visiting other zoos in other states before making an appearance at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ mid-year meeting in California.

The tuk-tuk was first purchased from Thailand and then re-engineered to run on gasified pellets made from animal droppings and trash generated by visitors and employees. The zoo’s system will convert about 700,000 kilos of waste into energy annually, offsetting 20% of the zoo’s total energy consumption and will save the zoo US$ 150,000 a year in hauling costs.

This patented idea was initiated eight years ago when a three-person engineering team was commissioned to develop alternative options. It started with consumption analysis, figuring out what kind of trash produced. The only waste products that cannot be gasified from the zoo’s general trash bins are metals, glass and certain types of plastic.

If this project goes down well, we may see this sort of technology applied on campuses, in communities and many other environments.

What do you think?


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