'Mythbusters'' Jamie Hyneman Explains How To Transform A Dirty Waste Product Into Clean Energy

"Impressive. Disgusting, but impressive."

One of our cleanest sources of renewable energy comes from a surprisingly dirty place: poop. Cow manure, to be specific.

Mythbusters' Jamie Hyneman has teamed up with his good friend Bessie and Cummins Westport to get the conversation about renewable resources and climate change moooving forward in a positive direction. 

"While this stuff is the very definition of a waste product, it can and is being put to use when we collect methane produced from its decomposition," Jamie explains in the above video. Normally, the methane gas from cow manure and landfill waste is a greenhouse gas that is basically "kryptonite to the atmosphere," when that gas is captured and processed through an anaerobic digester system, it's broken down and refined into biogas. 

Not many people know this, but that biogas is as powerful a fuel as natural gas produced from the ground — just a heck of a lot better for the environment.

And if you're still a little skeptical, just watch Jamie and his high-flying basketballs bust the age-old myth that renewable energy works just as well — if not better — than non-renewable fossil fuels.

"Natural gas or biogas has been used for fueling all sorts of engines … but we're doing something new at Cummins," he adds. "Cummins Westport has developed engine technology that burns this renewable natural gas in a very efficient way to the point where these engines are now the cleanest internal combustion engines on the planet." They're so clean that the emissions — that's right, the emissions — from these engines are actually cleaner than the air in Beijing and L.A.  

"It's a bit ironic maybe that we're talking about clean technology when it comes to things like poop or sewage," Jamie concludes. "But that's the bottom line." 


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