Zoo doo. Not the most pleasant aspect of visiting your local zoo. But could our future depend on unlocking its secrets? Researchers at Tulane University say yes. The feces of plant-eating hippos and other herbivores may just hold the secret to a renewable fuel source.
Inside that heaping, stinking, pile of dung live more than a dozen different strains of bacteria that turn plant waste into butanol, an alcohol similar to ethanol, that can be be used to fuel internal combustion engines like those used in cars. Butanol is superior to ethanol in that it “blends more easily with gasoline and can be distributed through existing pipelines, whereas ethanol has to be trucked or moved by rail across the country and blended at the last minute since ethanol-gasoline blends are sensitive to moisture,” according to an Associated Press article.
Just one more reason to love hippos!
In honor of hippo poop, I’ve included a video of said animal working hard to save our planet.
And here’s the poop on the spinning tail: Why The Hippo Spins His Tail to Poop