Penn State: Farts May Save Our Lives

It seems as though Pennsylvania State researchers, working “assholes and elbows” have developed technology that will transform C02 in the atmosphere into methane.  This unconventional development could enhance fuel cell technology.

If we get paid for making methane, some will benefit more than others

If we get paid for making methane, some will benefit more than others

MSNBC reports,

“It works like this: giving small jolts of electricity to single-celled microorganisms known as archea prompts them to remove C02 from the air and turn it into methane, released as tiny “farts.” The methane, in turn, can be used to power fuel cells or to store the electrical energy chemically until its needed.”

Perhaps in early experimentation, this seems a reasonable approach. When academics get too close to their work, they can overlook the obvious, which seems a possibility in this research.

Think about it. Methane destroys the ozone, yet if harnessed, can power fuel cells that may eliminate or at least reduce combustion of fossil fuels, which also deplete the protective ozone layer.

This facility is located in at Penn State, one of the larger schools in the Big Ten.   Its student body is considerable.  Many live on campus, augmenting dining hall fare with Funyums,  Cheez Whiz, Taco chips, delivery pizza, subs, copious amounts of cheap beer, fried food, Ramen Noodles and Kraft Macaroni.

So why are these researchers testing theories with tiny farts from single cell organisms?  Come on, fellaz! You’re slitting on the mother lode!  You have students lining up to give plasma and while in line, they fill the air with the noxious remnants from the night before. Unbridled,  gas escaping these collective colons rises ultimately to degrade the ozone layer.  Collect it and we can power fuel cells. The kids will fart, regardless. They must. Cover Happy Valley stadium. Collect the gas that rises during a single game and you could likely fuel a Space Shuttle.  Many students need a little (or a lot of)  help with their finances.   Some could probably earn close to a a free ride by virtue of their unique abilities to produce incredible amounts of high-quality methane gas, the new “cash cow”.   Of course, speaking of cows, need I say more? It’s a “win-win” as mammals fart their way to energy independence and environmental protection.

Such research epitomizes the very fabric of American ingenuity. I urge that these academics remove their blinders, though to see the bigger picture.

I see the tip of an iceberg here, one that if we play our cards right, we can keep from melting. I’m greatly encouraged by this and should it become refined enough as to ultimately rely on the contribution of individual citizens, am reasonably certain that I can make a meaningful contribution.

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4 Responses to Penn State: Farts May Save Our Lives

  1. skyewriter says:


    On a more serious note: Frontline this week was about chicken poo and its negative impact on the Chesapeake Bay Area.

    Iowa pig farmers are going to have access to federal grant money per ARRA to learn how to convert their pig doo-doo into fuel.

    Clean energry= good shit (literally).

  2. Paul Sonderman says:

    And anyone who’s been around wetlands know well the impact of ignored goose droppings. We just need to be creative! Lemons to lemon-aide.

    I’ll have to check out the Frontline report. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  3. skyewriter says:

    I’m glad I finally figured out which link on Catherine’s blog was yours.

    She (and others) kept writing about how great your blog is and I wanted to read it.

    Well deserved praise, Paul, for the body of work posted here.

    I have been enjoying your archives.

    And this… well, I cannot let a fart joke go unnoticed. 🙂

  4. Paul Sonderman says:

    Thanks for reading and for your kind thoughts. And let’s face it. Farts are funny. When one can’t laugh at gas escaping from one’s backside, what have we left?

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