The Denver Zoo has introduced the world’s first “poo-powered” motorized vehicle. This is a result of a patent-pending gasification technology, which takes animal feces and human trash and converts it to fuel. The engineers of the Denver Zoo have implemented this technology into a tuk tuk that was purchased from Thailand.
A tuk tuk or more commonly known as a rickshaw, is a three-wheeled vehicle similar to a large golf cart. After some redesigning, the tuk tuk is able to run on gasified pellets that are compressed from the zoo animal droppings and waste that is produced by the staff and visitors to the park. This is actually the second prototype but has been a successful part of the promotion of sustainability of the zoo.
The Denver Zoo’s sustainability manager believes this technology can benefit places beyond the zoo.
“This is not just a zoo thing. It can be applied on campuses, in communities and many other environments.” Says Jennifer Hale.
This is only the start of the environmentally conscious initiatives and there is a great deal of opportunity within the Denver Zoo. Over 90 percent of the zoo’s waste is useable energy, which will eliminate over 1.5 million pounds of trash each year.
The entire poo-powered project is taking place within the Denver Zoo and more manpower has been hired on to help with the project. Even with the new hires the zoo plans on saving over $150,000 in just the cost of hauling waste.
The future plan is that all the waste will be streamed together and compacted into the pellets that are used to fuel. These pellets will not only produce power for the tuk tuk but also a variety of other vehicles and machinery throughout the Denver Zoo.
This is an extremely innovative process that has taken a lot of time to put in in place. Many hours were spent in Denver dumpsters to find out what type of trash can produce the needed effect. The Denver Zoo is truly the leader in the poop-powered industry.