The U.S. military has been running two prototype generators that run on leftovers, shredded documents and ammunition wrappers at their headquarters in Iraq. The Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery (TGER) works by breaking down garbage into small bits and then heating it up until it becomes a synthetic gas and then combining it with the ethanol produced from the fermenting of foods and liquids. The result is a fuel capable of running the generators.
The device still requires about 5% of the diesel fuel needed to power traditional generators, but that means that fewer fuel runs are necessary. And, as as Army biotech scientist Dr. James Valdes pointed out , "Those convoys that carry fuel are also known as targets." It also means that fewer garbage trucks and their drivers are put in harm's way. Not quite Back to the Future style garbage-fuelled fusion power, but it is a step in the right direction.[CNET via Danger Room]