"Electric Fart Machine" Could Lead to Greater Fuel Storage Efficiency

By Rachel Cernansky | April 24, 2009 12:59 pm

fartmachine4.jpgWhile it may sound like every six-year-old boy’s dream, a new electric fart machine could actually improve fuel cell technology.

The machine takes single-celled microoranisms called archea and gives them little electric jolts, which trigger the organisms to turn carbon dioxide from the air into methane and release it as, um, micro-farts.  The methane can then be used to power fuel cells or store the electrical energy chemically until it’s needed.

Shockingly, the farting machine won’t solve global warming, since methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. What it might do, though, is improve the efficiency of storing alternative energies such as solar and wind. (No mention of whether increasing the efficiency increases the smell as well.)

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Image: Flickr / s_mestdagh

  • Jef

    poor microbes. that sounds cruel.

  • Avanti Shrikumar

    Actually I thought you only create methane to combust it? Meaning you would turn it back into CO2 again. It would reduce global warming because you would be producing energy with no net CO2 emission.

  • Jockaira

    Avanti,

    If you’ll pay for the matches, I’ll test your hypothesis.

    Just don’t ask me to put it in a bottle and paint it green!

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