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Yamaha Unveils Golf Cart Powered By Cow Dung 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the thirty-miles-per-pound dept.
Jessica Mischner writes "You've seen cars powered by the sun, wind and biofuels — but a vehicle propelled by dung? Yamaha just unveiled the first one at a golf course in Japan. The experimental golf cart doesn't run on cow dung directly — the poo is processed into biofuel which is then converted into methane — but it represents a huge leap forward for green innovations."

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Yamaha Unveils Golf Cart Powered By Cow Dung

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  • Pointless (Score:5, Funny)

    by eln (21727) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:21PM (#27679415) Homepage

    How often do you see cow dung on a golf course? If they really wanted to make a useful "green" golf cart, they would power it with the most abundant resources present on golf courses: beer farts and impotent rage.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rolfwind (528248)

      How often do you see cow dung on a golf course?

      Duh! That's because it's eaten by the gold carts!

      (If gas keeps going up again, expect a barn raising on the 9th hole soon.)

    • Or for that matter- one of my "thought inventions" that I really should patent- a porta-potty fuel cell with blades for methane and ammonia and a miniature self-contained composting system. It occurs to me golf carts and boats would be obvious uses.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Instead, look up the "bason", a type of composting toilet which could easily be converted to capture methane. What you want has existed for hundreds of years and does not require any power, only patience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by auric_dude (610172)
      No shit, Sherlock.
    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      This is the perfect test market for a bullshit powered golf cart. Aren't politicians, lawyers, and marketing droids big golf players?
    • Don't take the article too seriously, it's just samzenpus' once-per-day "should have been in idle" test post to see how close to digg we're willing to let slashdot become.
    • by phishfood (562800)

      they really should make it run on goose shit as well. those pesky Canadian geese make quite a mess.

  • P**p will soon be powering your hi-fi stereo system and your premier acoustic guitars.

    • WTF? (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrEricSir (398214)

      Since when has "poop" been a swear word that needs to be censored?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by chromas (1085949)
        Oh my shit! You fuckin' said "p**p"! I'm tattling!
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Oh my shit! You fuckin' said "p**p"! I'm tattling!

          That reminds me of one of my favorite oldies -- the redneck who told his wife, "Let's put the kids to B-E-D so we can fuck."

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        Those asterisks actually represent boobies. He was trying to add a little more raunchiness to the comments.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      Not to mention the wombat poo paper! [google.com]
    • by fractoid (1076465)
      Generally I power my acoustic guitar with my fingers, not my p**p.
  • Usually the shitbags are on the seats.

    Sheldon

  • Sorry dudes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:26PM (#27679491) Journal
    The fact that methane can be made from cow dung(among a large number of other things) doesn't mean that slapping a methane engine or fuel cell on a vehicle amounts to producing a "vehicle powered by cow dung".

    By that elastic standard, any rechargable battery-powered vehicle is actually a "coal/oil/nuclear fission/nuclear fusion(seamless upgrade in-the-field at some future date)/wind/hydro/solar flex fuel vehicle". Nonsense, twaddle, and utter rot.
    • by Myria (562655) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:28PM (#27679531)

      I call bullshit.

    • Re:Sorry dudes... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:33PM (#27679609) Journal

      No Kidding.

      I'm going to power my bike tomorrow with fish sticks, a renewable resource conveniently located in my freezer. The natural cycle of womanhood seems to automatically withdraw funds from our checking account and deposit fresh fish sticks in the freezer on a weekly schedule. Like the tides, or the changing of seasons, the reasons for this cycle are not readily explainable to us mere men, we can only gaze upon the glory of Mother nature and wonder at her boundless bounty.

      • Lucky for you man created Amazon.com for replacing woman in this natural cycle of life. You can subscribe to Fish sticks [amazon.com] like their other grocery products and it will automatically charge you and ship fish sticks to your door on a regular basis!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Culture20 (968837)

          Lucky for you man created Amazon.com for replacing woman in this natural cycle of life. You can subscribe to Fish sticks like their other grocery products and it will automatically charge you and ship fish sticks to your door on a regular basis!

          But then they won't be in the freezer, or cooked in the oven. I'd have to eat them quickly, hunched-over on my front porch before they attracted raccoons. I think Amazon.com has a way to go before replacing the Amazons.

    • by mpe (36238)
      The fact that methane can be made from cow dung(among a large number of other things) doesn't mean that slapping a methane engine or fuel cell on a vehicle amounts to producing a "vehicle powered by cow dung".

      About a year ago there was a Mythbusters special. In that episode they ran a lawnmower (apparently with an unmodified engine) on methane produced from cow dung. The farm they got this from apparently uses gas from the waste as a source of fuel. There are also sewerage treatment plants which use gas p
  • There was something on PBS last night that talked about how agricultural waste, especially cow and chicken crap, is a huge huge water pollution problem in many places in the US. I hope this fuel conversion process is something that can really happen large scale. The other cool info they talked about is that a lot of water pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay area are causing male fish to grow female eggs and other scary things that could cause problems in people, too since people drink this water and the filter

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:27PM (#27679517)
    Hell, that's nothing.

    GM, Ford and Chrysler are already selling vehicles powered by organic waste. Granted, the material has been highly compressed and heated through geologic forces over millions of years until it becomes a black goo which is then refined into a flammable liquid.... but you can still call it organic waste, correct?
    • by aliquis (678370)

      It's more or less all radioactive waste in the end, hydrogen may be an exception.

      Solar power renewable energy my ass.

    • by esampson (223745)

      Hell, that's nothing.

      GM, Ford and Chrysler are already selling vehicles powered by organic waste.

      Oh. Oil. For a moment I thought you meant the marketing bullshit they ran on.

    • Hell, that's nothing. GM, Ford and Chrysler are already selling vehicles powered by organic waste. Granted, the material has been highly compressed and heated through geologic forces over millions of years until it becomes a black goo which is then refined into a flammable liquid.... but you can still call it organic waste, correct?

      Boy, there for a minute, when you were talking about highly compressed organic waste, I thought you might have been referring to those tall piles of shit they call Executives.

      Then, I realized you were serious.

      My observation still stands as a viable source of highly refined bullshit, in case GM were to look towards another vehicle line...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:28PM (#27679547)

    Yeah, but I bet it gets really shitty gas mileage.

  • by crazybit (918023) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:28PM (#27679553)
    which means it will generate CO2. Maybe less than gasoline, but on the other side it is VERY explosive and has to be stored in high pressure tanks.

    What happened with wind/solar/hidrogen based technologies? shouldn't we be researching on them?
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're right and wrong. The problem with burning oil is that you are releasing sequestered CO2 from within the earth. Burning methane from cow waste releases CO2 that was sequestered from the atmosphere by the plant then the cow then released by burning. So it's a 0 sum transfer.

      CO2 in oil was in the atmosphere a very long time ago while the CO2 from dung was in the atmosphere days ago.

    • by esampson (223745)

      Yes, it does generate CO2 but that isn't a problem if the methane is generated from some form of organic waste. In such a case the carbon in the methane was recently (in geological terms) in the air, most likely as CO2, before being pulled out by plants. Burning the methane simply returns it back to the air (admittedly, it would be better if we didn't have to do that but at least it won't increase the amount of atmospheric CO2).

      Like using alcohol using methane produced from organic waste is carbon neutral

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Except the plants and later animals have picked up the same amount of carbon from the environment so it's +/- 0.

      The same is true for the fossile fuels as well except it was rather long time ago it was stored.

      But then as someone else mentioned in another thread on Slashdot, rather a warmer planet when a freezing ice-ball in space.

      Imagine earth at less than 0 degrees celsius all the time.

    • by chrisv (12054)
      Hm. Well, methane will generate CO2 as it's end result, whether it's used for power or not - it undergoes an oxidation reaction over time: CH4 + 2O2 -> CO2 + 2H2O. It's also 75 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and as it decomposes to CO2 anyway, net output of CO2 from burning methane from such sources as cow dung is nil.

      Wind, solar, and hydrogen all have their issues: wind and solar are unreliable over time, because they both ultimately depend on the weather conditions, and hydrogen isn'
      • by esampson (223745)

        ...It's also 75 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and as it decomposes to CO2 anyway

        Not quite sure why but I feel compelled to point out that not only does it convert to CO2 but it does so pretty darn quickly (as I understand it). Methane really wants to combine with oxygen, which is of course why it burns so nicely.

        Maybe I feel compelled because I've seen other people throw out the fact that it is so much more potent in an attempt to discredit the idea that CO2 is a major factor in climate change (which you are obviously not trying to do).

  • by megli (649925)
    Because cows don't produce enough methane already.
  • by daveywest (937112) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:40PM (#27679733)
    I can just see the endorsment touting the "sweet smell of victory."
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The guy who invented it was definitely a fart Smeller and so will be those around the cart

  • Now let's see if they can design a golfer that isn't.

  • They should call it "Master Blaster" Ok ok that was lame.
  • Apparently Yamaha does ;-)
  • Methane is about *20 times* more effective at trapping heat than CO2. Both are "Green house" gases.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane#Methane_as_a_greenhouse_gas [wikipedia.org]

    Let the flames begin! ( pun intended :P )

  • If you put a wind sail on a golf cart, then arrogant rich people can combine their favorite two past-times: golf and sailing. It's okay to stereotype rich people, right?

  • Cowadunga duude!

  • is some drunken golfer dropping his pants and crapping down the exhaust pipe of his cart.
  • How about using this to build an autonomous cattle herdiing robot!
  • It's painted to look like a cow!!!
  • This could totally be perfect for Mongolia, and New Zealand and Australia.. Cattle puts out ALOT of crap. Next thing you know, New Zealand will be powering their golf carts off of methane directly extracted from the asses of all of their sheep.
    • by twosat (1414337)
      The Christchurch City Council in New Zealand has been generating methane gas from its sewerage for many years and using it in its vehicles and generators. In fact, the sewage works generates a substantial portion of the power required to run itself. In addition, there is a large council swimming pool complex (Queen Elizabeth) that is heated by the gas given off from an old rubbish dump.
  • On our farm, we used to run a little still-like contraption that captured methane from manure that we used to run a water pump. My brother and I took that pump and made a go-cart with it (for a few days until my grandfather found out). Is the news here that a company has done this instead of a farm boy?

  • couldn't resist
  • ...is to have golf-cart powered by human dung. Converting the seats to toilet seats, put in built-in microwave and a mini fridge. That'll be truly self-propelling.

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.

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