If you watch 30 Rock religiously, you might have seen one or two references to an out-of-control fart machine. Well, Tina Fey's dream is kind of, sort of becoming a reality.
Methane is becoming a prized source of green energy—in fact, we are already harvesting it from alternative sources like landfills and cow manure to meet our energy needs. Along those lines, Professor Bruce Logan at Pennsylvania State University has developed an electronic fart machine that can collect and store energy from gassy single-celled microbes with 80% efficiency.
It works like this: giving small jolts of electricity to single-celled microorganisms known as archea prompts them to remove C02 from the air and turn it into methane, released as tiny "farts." The methane, in turn, can be used to power fuel cells or to store the electrical energy chemically until it's needed.
Thanks Professor Logan. Your knowledge, dedication, and willingness to come home night after night smelling of farts will lead to a brighter future for all of us. . [Discovery via Treehugger via DVICE]