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Power from Septic Tanks

thomas pendrake

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About one fourth of U.S. households use septic tanks for sewage disposal. When a  septic tank is functioning properly it produces methane (actually, it produces gobar, a mixture of methane, carbon-dioxide, and water vapor). Methane is a far more significant greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so using that methane as a power source helps reduce global warming.  It takes very little to capture that methane.  In some parts of the world this is done to provide power to remote areas. I am trying to encourage a movement in the U.S. to promote power from septic tanks. Can I get some discussion going on this subject?

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We are on a septic tank system where I live.  I have read about generating power from them and it really interests me a lot.  I am wondering about the expense and if you could just go ahead and set something up yourself to do it at your own home.  It is a curious thing, I would be willing to do it and anything for an alternative source of energy.

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So far do-it-yourself is the primary option in the U.S.  Most of the work being done is focused on industrial waste systems where there is a lot of profit $$$$. collecting the methane primarily requires having a good seal on the lid (assuming you have a concrete tank) and a vent leading to a bladder type tank (which you will probably have to make yourself). I hope to finish a detailed article for my blog shortly and will try to at least put together a list of references shortly. How you utilize the methane is another set of options. Even burning it is better than just releasing it into the atmosphere,

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