by Josh Gross
This week, the Denver Zoo debuted a new technology that is equal parts visionary and gross: the poop-powered taxi. Fo' realsies.
The zoo purchased a tuk-tuk (a sort of open-air taxi similar to a meter maid's cart that is popular in Thailand) and refitted it to use their patent-pending technology to convert poop into gas.
From an article in the Huffington Post:
The zoo itself already has much bigger plans for the clean energy system. Fox 31 reports that the gasification technology developed by the Denver Zoo staff will be used at the zoo's upcoming Toyota Elephant Passage, a 10-acre elephant exhibit scheduled to open in late spring of 2012. Once the gasification system is implemented, the zoo expects that it will be able to convert 90 percent of the zoo's waste into usable energy, eliminating 1.5 million pounds of trash that currently goes into landfills annually.
The alternative energy system was designed by three full-time zoo staffers and will be the first to utilize such a diverse on-site waste stream as a form of energy. Throughout the development and design process, the zoo also worked with the National Renewable Energy Lab in Boulder and several other organizations including Encana Oil & Gas, The Governor's Energy Office (Colorado) and Western Energy Alliance.
The tuk tuk will be paraded about the country with stops in Colorado Springs, Colo., Albuquerque, N.M., Phoenix and Palm Desert, Calif.
But if they were smart, they'd bring it to Zoo Boise—there is enough goose poop in that place to power a whole fleet of tuk tuks.