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Dog excrement lights up streetlights

Global Goals & Global Society
Dog excrement lights up streetlights

In England, a street lantern that is powered not by electricity but by dog poop has recently been causing a stir and keeping the streets clean. The lantern lights up with biogas produced from the dog's droppings. In this way, not only energy for electricity is saved, there is also a collection point for dog poop - and thus a cleaner park.

The British inventor Brian Harper was annoyed by the dog droppings lying around in the park. Harper wanted to solve the problem and give it a positive spin at the same time. That is why he invented the street lantern that shines through dog droppings. The lantern is located in Malvern Hills, England.

Lantern with bio-composter

The British man's invention works as follows: Dog owners:inside throw their dogs' waste, collected in paper bags available free of charge, into a bin on the lantern, then a handle is turned to convey the bag into the integrated biocomposter. Both the contents of the bag and the bag itself decompose in the composter within a few days. Biogas is produced in the process. This gas consists of 60 percent methane and 40 percent carbon dioxide.

The gas mixture is collected in the gas container and lights up the streetlights as dusk falls. Ten bags of dog excrement are needed to keep the streetlights lit for two hours. In addition to the biogas, fertilizer is also produced, which can then be reused.

Biogas plants in Germany

The use of excrement to generate energy is not new. In Great Britain, for example, there have already been attempts to operate a bus with the help of human excrement. Similar projects are also underway in Canada and India.

However, the potential for generating electricity using biogas plants powered by manure or biowaste has not yet been fully exploited. Particularly in the energy crisis, even more use could be made here of the possibilities for energy procurement.

Europe is facing a serious energy crisis at a time when the demand for energy is increasing globally and the cost of fossil fuels is rising. The situation has only become more prominent as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The majority of Europe's energy demands are still met by importing 90% of its oil and over 60% of its gas, with several nations still getting a significant portion of their energy from Russia.

Moving quickly toward decarbonization today requires consideration of energy security, or, to put it simply, independence and freedom. This is likely to be good news for the environment because the answers are the same: promote the use of renewable energy sources, encourage the development of new energy carriers and sources, and ensure that energy is used as efficiently as possible.

The world needs a systemic transformation throughout the entire energy sector to make it happen. Because it involves more than simply plugging in new power plants where the old ones were and carrying on as usual, it is systemic. These are distinct devices that operate in various settings, at various times, and under various circumstances. The implication is that the world must change and improve to new methods of transforming, transporting, storing, and utilising energy on behalf of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


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