Well, it's 2015, and right on cue, humanity has apparently invented its very own Mr. Fusion. The s0-called "Biobattery", designed by German scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Energy and Safety Technology, will eat everything from human waste to coffee grounds and spit out electricity.
A press release from Fraunhofer explains the rationale behind the new invention:
Biogas plants are an important element for decentralised energy supply. They produce electricity from renewable resources and can compensate for highly fluctuating wind and solar energy...However, the plants have several disadvantages too: they only process a limited range of organic substances and are in competition with the cultivation of food plants...with the biobattery's modular concept a much larger range of biomass can be utilized for energy recovery than previously.
Unlike earlier biogas reactors -- which typically process only a single type of organic waste -- the Biobattery is designed for versatility, and will happily eat everything from sewage sludge to lawn clippings to leftovers. It can covert this array of waste products into electricity, heat, and high quality fuels including oil and gasoline, developers claim.
While we may not use this particular invention to traverse the space-time continuum anytime soon, a machine that turns week-old pizza into a little extra laptop juice still sounds pretty rad to me. [Science Daily]
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