General Question

jcs007's avatar

Is it possible to use our feces to power our homes and cars?

Asked by jcs007 (1773points) June 28th, 2008

Smell, look, and other disgusting ideas aside, is it doable? I mean, we all poop. Not only do we feel sooo much better after excreting, but we would also be doing mother nature a big favor.

We would have an ENDLESS SUPPLY OF ENERGY, solving our power woes!

Dung beetles can do it, why can’t we?

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9 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Have you ever smelled the exhaust from a vehicle adapted to run on bio-diesel? It smells kind of nice, like french fries. All I can think is what traffic would smell like if all the vehicles ran on fecal-diesel.

martinez00anita's avatar

I think anything’s possible. We just need people who are willing to do that kind of experimenting

martinez00anita's avatar

true that, Astro

paulc's avatar

When I was in Tibet, most people heated their homes by burning yak shit. Didn’t smell bad and burnt a long time. I say we liberate the people of Tibet and help them privatize their yak industry. They’ll welcome us with open arms and dance in the street!

xyzzy's avatar

I just watched an episode on Mythbusters where they showed a farm that generated most of it’s electricity using methane derived from cow manure. So it is possible.

Furthermore, the following video shows that human fecal matter can produce the same methane:

Unfortunately, I don’t think humans produce enough crap to power much of anything.

Spargett's avatar


Yaks are herbavores, which are generally known to have the most “pleasant” feces since its just grass and what not.

Not all feces is created equal. Humans have terrible diets.

Zaku's avatar

Totally doo-able. Butt would you want to?

joeysefika's avatar

you would just combust the methane in an internal combustion engine like with petrol.

Knotmyday's avatar

Human poo produces a minimal amount of methane, and it’s heavy. A methane generator fed with vegetable matter (cole crops in particular) would be much more efficient.

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