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6 Weird sources of alternative energy you never knew existed

by DrPrem Jagyasi

The switch to an alternative energy source has been gaining a lot of momentum over the last few years. With fossil fuels on the verge of being exhausted, researchers are literally on a manhunt for alternative sources of energy that are equally efficient as fossil fuels, but cheaper and more abundant.

While a lot has been said about sources like solar panels and wind turbines, there are some rather unusual and very bizarre sources of energy that not many have heard of till date. Here are 6 of those sources that you won’t believe can effectively replace fossil fuels as effective sources of alternative energy.

Leftover Foods

Leftovers

Not many know that the food and waste they throw out on a daily basis can be used to generate biofuel which can, in turn, be used as an alternative source of energy. These leftovers as well as other organic matter when stored and degraded over a period of time generate methane and several other gases that can be used as biofuel. Many small scale industries have in fact, started generating electricity with the biogas generated from collecting trash that is produced by big cities.

Sugar

sugar

Traditionally, the idea of placing sugar inside the gas tank will be laughed off as being a prank to ruin the car’s engine. However, researchers are toying with the idea of using sugar as an alternative source of fuel for cars.

A concoction of water, plant sugars and over 13 powerful enzymes can be combined in a reactor to create hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This hydrogen can be pumped into a fuel cell of the car to generate the energy needed for a cheap, clean, odorless and emission free ride.

Electric Eels

electric discharge

They can give you quite a shock if you were to touch them uninvited. Capable of discharging an electrical current of over 400V at once, an eel uses this mechanism to hunt for food as well as find its path in the sea. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise to note that researchers are attempting to find a way to use this electric power. A successful experiment was even conducted in Japan where a Christmas tree was lit up using the electricity generated by an eel.

Cows

Dairy industry - Cow milking facility

It will come as a surprise to note that cows can emit a lot of gases that contribute to global warming. When cows burp in particular, they emit methane gas. This gas can be harvested and used as an alternative source of energy. Although a little tricky to implement (you might need to attach a balloon to the cow’s rear to harvest the gas), this initiative can help provide cheap and efficient energy while reducing greenhouse gases at the same time.

Dead Bodies

Corpse

It is a known fact that human feces can be used to generate biodiesel. However, recent studies have indicated that most parts of the body can be used to generate fuel even after they have ceased to function. In short, even a dead body can be used to harvest clean energy. Though not much is known on how this is possible, researchers have indicated about the possibility of using dead bodies to generate energy and use the same as a suitable alternative to fossil fuels.

Breathing

Vishnu Mudra in hatha yoga Alternate Nostril Breathing

If generating energy from a dead body is possible, then it is likely possible that one can harvest clean energy from a living human being as well. The body’s muscular spasms and heartbeat can also be used to generate miniscule amounts of energy capable of charging cellphones and other small devices at home. Better yet, there is no special activity that you need to do to generate energy. All you need to do is breathe peacefully and let your breathing do the rest of the talking.

With the world intent on switching to clean, alternative forms of energy, a lot of initiatives are being made to harvest energy from other sources. These sources are sometimes strange, weird and rather bizarre; but do a neat job in providing us with clean, easy to use energy.

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