Detroit Zoo Hopes to Crowdfund Energy From Manure Project
The Detroit Zoo launched a crowdfunding campaign last week to pay for an anaerobic digester to process the 400 tons of manure its animals produce each year.
The digester would produce enough methane gas to power the zoo’s 18,000-square-foot vet hospital.
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“The zoo hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity and natural gas and become entirely waste-neutral by 2020,” VentureBeat reports. “The campaign aims to raise $55,000 through the local crowdfunding site, Patronicity,” and will receive a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation if it succeeds.
“Fart jokes aside, turning animal poo into energy isn’t a totally new concept,” Reader writes. “Massive livestock operations have been wrestling with technology to turn animal-waste lagoons (where most animal waste gets stored for large-scale major meat purveyors) into anything but the massive health hazard [they are], to little success.” But with biodigester technology showing somewhat better results, Detroit “hopes to be the first U.S. zoo to adopt the technology.”