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Australian inventor believes he can turn sewage into energy source

Australian inventor believes he can turn sewage into energy source
Rhett A. Butler,
August 23, 2005

An Australian inventor believes he can turn human waste into an energy source.

Cy d’Oliveira, an inventor from Queensland, Australia, has devised a system that purportedly converts sewage and paper pulp into methane and other raw energy sources. He calls the system the d’Oliveira Natural Gas Refinery (dNGR) and claims the technology could produce up to 4.71 Kwh (17 MJ) of electricity per 1Kg of sewage sludge. Mr. d’Oliveira views his dNGR as a potential way for reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced by the combustion of fossil fuels.

The concept of using biofuels — any fuel that derives from biomass — has gained ground in recent years. Biofuels are appealing since they are a renewable energy source and their combustion doesn’t result in a net increase of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere (their carbon was already extracted from the atmosphere by growing plants). Currently around 15% of the world’s energy consumption comes from bioenergy, mostly in developing countries where fuelwood, animal waste, and charcoal is burned for heating and cooking purposes.

Whether or not Mr. d’Oliveira process is commercially viable is still to be determined — his plan would require significant changes in how waste is handled. For now Mr. d’Oliveira aims to raise funds to develop a pilot plant to test his concepts.

You can see more about his technology at

The information in this item comes from Mr. d’Oliveira. takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the above content.

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