POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — Believe in the power of poop. It’s an initiative being pushed by one South Florida energy company, which is now on the edge of being approved in Fort Lauderdale to help generate home electricity.

Power Green Energy, a Pompano Beach start-up hoping to turn sludge from waste-water treatment plants into renewable electricity for the state, is awaiting word today from the Fort Lauderdale City Commission to approve a rezoning request that would implement the system by the middle of next year.  The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the company has received the City Commission’s tentative approval to initiate operations that would feed into Florida Power & Light Co.’s power-lines by mid-2012.

“To be able offset energy use for waste-water facilities with renewable energy or renewable gas from the very waste going into the facility in the first place is the optimum solution,” Patrick Serfass, executive director for the American Biogas Council in Washington, told CBS Tampa.

The proposed initiative is another step toward creating additional energy sources for the state, its tentative goal projected at 4 megawatts of electricity, or about 1,000-plus homes powered by the waste-to-energy plan. Currently, similar examples are also taking place in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

“This is taking a negative and turning it into a positive for our environment,” PGE Co-Owner Amie Silverman said to the Sun-Sentinel.

One of the important ideas behind PGE’s waste-to-energy plan stems from the idea of it all, anaerobic digestion. Through this, class-B biosolids from a wastewater facility, containing pathogens and bacteria, are processed through a digester, a vessel used for breaking down biodegradable material. Once the biosolids have gone through the process, they are upgraded to class-A biosolids, free of pathogens, bacteria, and viruses.

Though the digestate system has been in place for some time now, the PGE program signals an enhanced need for greater usage, sharpening the state’s focus on how to grow alternative energy.

“Digesters need regularity,” Serfass said. “They need businesses generating organic waste to basically enter into a contract to allow someone to come by and regularly pick up waste.”

Calls made to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission were not immediately returned.

Comments (67)
  1. bubba60609 says:

    Just stop by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s place if you want an endless supply

    1. Jacksonville_Resident says:

      Best. Comment. Ever.

    2. michael k says:

      So poop is now a viable source of income? I’m sitting on a gold mine!

    3. wfwilson6 says:

      Or Governor Perdue of NC. Looks like she may be the next Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

    4. Stinky says:

      It’sfunny because it’s true!

    5. BFlava Flav says:

      awesome bubba!

  2. GD says:

    Harness the poop coming from the White House; plenty of fuel coming from there.

    1. Jack Kennedy says:

      buuulllpp…………. dang

      spilled my coffee laughing

      good one !!!!!!!!


  3. MrLogical says:

    This isn’t new – hog farms have had bio-digesters used to capture methane as for decades. It’s usually used to provide fuel fo heating systems, but larger systems have excess capacity that allows the fuel to be used by electrical generating systems.

    1. usmcdad says:

      I watched a film in school in the 1970’s showing entire villages of Chinese farmers who shoveled their swine waste into cisterns which broke down and emitted the Methane which they captured simply by method of a cap pipe and valve. they cooked and heated with it and have been for hundreds of years. Nothing new here Folks. Probably some EPA regulation forbidding Large hog and Chicken operations from being self sufficient in recovering their own energy

      1. Evan says:

        Right cause its the left that wants to stop new energy development to same fossil fuels. Come on!

    2. timo says:

      Youre absolutly right. This isn’t new. Methane digesters have been around forever. This would work more efficienly in washington though. Put in washingtons poop. Out comes usable fuel, and excellent fertilizer is whats left. And It can be recycled – its the base material of political speeches. It’ll be the only efficient and cost effective thing in washiongton!!

  4. Susie says:

    A pipe line out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue could keep this facility running for the next couple of generations.

    1. FEDUPPPPPP says:

      Let’s hear a big AMEN

      1. Change, We Can Bereave In says:

        Consider yourself duly reported to http://www.AttackWatch.net

    2. obxcape says:

      Susie…that is one heck of a comment! You oughta be ashamed of yourself! LOL!!!! Love it!

  5. Rupert Pupkin says:

    1000 plus homes, my ass. 4 megawatts @ 1000 homes = 4,000 watts per home. Not even close to reality! At most, 4 megawatts could possibly power about 300 homes. Fuzzy government math, it sucks.

    1. Billyjay says:

      Absolutely correct Rupert. They use that new math which makes all of their poop look good!!!

    2. JohnK144 says:

      Oh, that’s covered by the “other half” of the deal. Homes will be restricted to use only 4,000 watts. Then the “smart grid” shuts them down. That’s how you get to 1,000 homes.

    3. Tom says:

      A 4MW generating system will generate 4MW per hour, or 4KW per hour for 1000 homes. If you use more than 4KW hours of energy every hour of every day, then you have to be one heck of a big energy hog. My last electricity bill in CNY showed a usage of 300KW for the month of August. That equates to about 403 watts of electrical energy per hour, per day, for a 31 day month. If you use 4K per hour every day, you are one of the reasons this country is running out of energy. That’s something to really be proud of, isn’t it?

  6. Alice Ramirez says:

    It’s about time! I’ve heard of this possibility for years and now finally….. Sewage sludge has long demanded expensive treatment processes to make it safe for returning to the environment. Other posters have complained that the article exaggerates number of homes supplied. Hopefully the technology will improve.

    Sewage is more renewable than oil, easier to get at than coal. For coastal cities (and denizens of their adjoining water) it would be an absolute blessing not to have to dump even treated sewage back into the sea or rivers.

    Now if only some company would find a way to convert used cat litter into electricity!

    1. Mark Ramsay says:

      This has been done in Maryland for 3 MW. I was the project manager for a waste gas to electrical conversion project two years ago. It featured three 1-mw Waukesha generators pumping out 4160 volts. Gas conditioning has to be done and it is not simple. Siloxanes in the gas need to be removed or their grit destroys engines. We found a way but it took a year of development with properly skilled people. The gas stream’s flow varies with the rain especially, so the engine control systems have to be flexible and protect the plant from explosive mixtures. I modeled and designed a system which tracked input flow well and kept the plant safe.

      I will consider acting as a consultant.

      Mark Ramsay, M. Sci, PE, PMP, LEED GA

      To you humorists out there, none of the P’s stands for poop.

      1. a grimes says:

        Good summary, Mark…

    2. Mike Nichols says:

      We’re talking about solids here, not the liquid portion of the domestic waste which still needs to be sent to re-use sources, wetland treatment areas, held temporarily in percolation ponds, sent to the boulder zone via deep well injection or yes, piped to an ocean outfall.

      Until we invent cost-effective treatment systems that can remove an acceptable level of bacteria, viruses, pharmaceuticals and other organic contaminants, we will still keep using the time-tested principle that “the solution to pollution is dilution” along with “out of sight, out of mind”.

      1. Markramsay@comcast.net says:

        A lot of the solids are eaten by specific organisms at the waste treatment plant. Methane gas is the by-product of their eating. What’s left is less toxic. It certainly is not a problem like radioactive waste. Dilution is already there from the water in the sewer system; it’s not further diluted to make it more pure.

  7. Matts says:

    Congress can solve the energy crisis by itself

  8. wfwilson6 says:

    Another White House green project. How many billion did we loan them??

    1. Jack Kennedy says:

      white is not loaning our money…………. obama is GIVING it away

    2. Liberalescheissekopf says:

      Wouldn’t that be BROWN energy?? Just sayin’…

  9. Abel Garcia says:

    One of the fundamentals laws of science says that ENERGY CAN NEITHER BE CREATED OR DESTROYED and renewable energy violates this so renewable energy is a false statement.

    1. Freedom says:

      But using something to generate energy, does not necessarily remove all the energy from the material. So, basically, what they mean by “renewable energy” is re-purposing materials to generate energy after they have been used for something else. The term “renewable” stands more for how easy it is to get these materials through typical day to day living, instead of having to dig up entire mountains or valleys and such.

      It is more then obvious you don’t understand anything from this discussion. Pick up a book please.

  10. tyrannywatcher says:

    How about using coal, oil and natural gas for energy. This would leave all the poop for fertilizer to grow food.

    1. SUPER16 says:

      Most fertilizers today are made from petroleum.

    2. Freedom says:

      Poop makes bad fertilizer in the united states. Between poor diets and prescription drugs and hormones from birth control, it is not good for the crops.

      Most fertilizer is made as a byproduct of processing oil into gas.
      One of the 200+ products that are made from the byproducts created while oil is processed into gas.

  11. Kim Bailey says:

    Hook up Obama shovel ready BS and the supply won’t stop until we kick him back to Kenya.

    1. n22s says:

      Kim, you didn’t hear? Obama’s approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are claiming he was born in the US.

  12. Ducky says:

    Well, here’s a whole different meaning to the term “brownout”.

  13. Flannigan says:

    Are we going “brown” now?

  14. Tom says:

    Not to rain on the Greenie parade, but I toured a big sewage treatment plant near Boston in 1971. The entire plant was powered by the methane from the digesting sewage, and they sold power to Boston Edison. This is pretty common in major municipal plants. But since this is the obama adimin and their buddies in the press love this stuff, I guess we have to let them reinvent the wheel.

  15. tom says:

    Abel, technically true, but then everything we use now is solar power in one form or another. Bio comes from current sunshine, as does wind and hydro (sun powers the atmosphere, causing rain and wind, and drives photosynthesis. Coal is photosynthesis that happened a few hundred millon years ago. Oil we’re not so sure of,but shale gas is old sea life entombed in limestone. Even nuclear is solar; old stars going nova produced the heavier elements, including the radionucleotides. That’s the radioactive stuff. So yes, eventually once the universe dies a heat death there will not be any more “renewable energy”.

    There, did I beat that to death sufficiently?

  16. Troggpologies says:

    (Sung to the tune of “Wild Thing”)

    Prune Juice
    You make my bowels loose
    You make everything… go through me
    Prune Juice
    You move me

  17. Bob Jason says:

    Biofuels might work well in a man-intensive program such as Chinese farmers use but what is the cost of producing energy at this facility which will only produce nergy for 1,000 homes? We have all witnessed the fallacy of ethanol being a cheap way to produce gasoline when in fact it costs more to produce the energy than the supposed savings of not using oil. just as the recent Solyndra scandal has exposed, liberals love to spout the virtues of these projects while wasting billions of tax dollars for projects that end up costing more.

  18. sailordude says:

    Let’s send the welfare recipients there to work shoveling poop until they find a job. I bet their welfare collection days shrink dramatically!

  19. Lance_Corporal says:

    Hmm, someone mentioned a pipeline running out of congress as a possible method to power the country. There could be some merit to this idea, future members of Congress would run on the platform that they could generate enough power to run their district.

    Future congressmen would probably be very Obese which would then make the Obese more accepted into society.

    Congressional toilets would then be revamped and toilet companies would then advertise with tag lines such as “The Toilinator 3000 helps run the country, preferred by congressmen from 43 states!”

    Congressmen would campaign against each other with insults such as “He’s not doing his job! I’ve been eating fiber daily and have even been VOTING while sitting on my Toilinator 3000 in order to do my part in powering the country!”

    This could work!

  20. ldjldj says:

    ……. giving new meaning to the term: ‘brownout’

  21. Rico says:

    If they would just follow OweBama around and capture his many “emanations”, OweBama would be the king of green brown energy.

  22. Jeff B says:

    If you can get a credit for selling electricity to the power company from the cells on your roof, why can’t I get a credit every time I pull the flush lever?

  23. Trudy says:

    what concerns me is that right now in America we drink recycled human waste, we spread it on our crops and now we are heating with it. all this while not fully understanding the implications of it.

    1. Mark says:

      Trudy, wastewater treatment was one of the best inventions ever for human health. Started with Louis IV and his famous sewers. There is a lot known about the biology of finishing what our bodies started. The last step in many wastewater processes is strong chlorine dose and aeration. One thing about bugs and chemistry, they are predicable. If the plants run according to their process specifications, the effluent is safe. I can see a concern of what happens if some superbug survives the process, but we’d all be dead by now if there were one – it would have surrounded and destroyed us by now. The gas that is burned in engines that generate electricity exhausts at well over a thousand degrees – everything is killed and oxidized.

  24. Master Blaster says:

    Who rules Bartertown? Master Blaster rules Bartertown!!

  25. Joe Blowhole says:

    Now we can just sit around and wait for the government to make nightly tacos and ExLax mandatory.

  26. frank33317 says:

    About time we have shovel ready jobs

  27. how solar panel works says:

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