Weirdo professor invents poop-to-oil converter
Pretty cool. That guy will be really rich if this becomes popular.National Geographic said:Pig Manure Converted to Crude Oil
Crude oil and gasoline prices are near an all-time high. But don't despair. One scientist has found an alternative source of energy: pig manure.
Yuanhui Zhang, an agricultural engineering professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, has succeeded in turning small batches of hog waste into oil.
The process, called thermochemical conversion, uses heat and pressure to break down carbohydrate materials and turn waste into liquid. The project is still in its infancy.
For now, each half-gallon (two-liter) batch of manure converts to only about 9 ounces (0.26 liter) of oil.
But Zhang believes the conversion process could eventually solve the problem of pollution and odor at modern hog farms, where farmers pay big money to get rid of the waste. And, he says, pig oil could also offer an alternative to petroleum oil.
"If 50 percent of U.S. swine farms adopted this technology, we could see a [U.S.] 1.5-billion-dollar reduction in crude oil imports every year," Zhang said. "And swine producers could see a 10 percent increase in their incomeâ€”about $10 to $15 per hog."