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The ZOO with poop! The wildlife park in Winchester is running a new tropical house in manure

The ZOO with poop! The wildlife park in Winchester is running a new tropical house with zebra dung and wild donkeys in a UK prime location

  • Marwell Zoo will use 600 tons of manure to feed its new tropical home
  • The manure is from endangered species such as Grevy’s zebr and the Somali wild ass.
  • The initiative will save 220 tons of CO2 each year, according to the zoo


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A zoo has become the first in the UK to convert animal droppings into renewable energy, and is burning manure ‘briquettes’ to feed a new exhibit.

The Marwell Zoo will use 600 tons of animal waste to feed its new tropical home as part of the new ecological scheme.

Dung from endangered species such as Grevy’s zebra, scimitar-horned oryx, and Somali wild ass will generate heat using biomass technology.

It’s all part of plans for the zoo near Winchester to become carbon neutral in 2022.

The Marwell Zoo will use 600 tons of animal waste to feed its new tropical home as part of the new ecological scheme.

The Marwell Zoo will use 600 tons of animal waste to feed its new tropical home as part of the new ecological scheme.

Convert animal excrement into renewable energy

Zoo keepers sweep manure from animal paddocks and enclosures each morning before crushing, mixing, drying and pressing the manure and bedding mixture into ‘briquettes’, which are used as fuel to power a boiler of biomass.

The boiler produces hot water, which is fed into a 15,000-liter thermal accumulator, before flowing underground to heat the zoo’s latest exhibit, its ‘Energy for Life: Tropical House’.

The Energy for Life initiative, ‘first in the world’, will save 220 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year, with one tonne of CO2 equivalent to a passenger’s return flight from Paris to New York.

Zoo keepers sweep manure from animal paddocks and enclosures each morning before crushing, mixing, drying and pressing the manure and bedding mixture into ‘briquettes’, which are used as fuel to power a boiler of biomass.

The boiler produces hot water, which is fed into a 15,000-liter thermal accumulator, before flowing underground to heat the zoo’s latest exhibit, its ‘Energy for Life: Tropical House’.

The new exhibit will combine tropical animals like Linne’s two-toed sloth, free-flying tropical birds, and crocodile monitor lizards with educational exhibits on energy flow, climate change, and modern lifestyles.

The next phase of the biomass system is to provide heat to other buildings in the zoo and will benefit animals such as the zebra-like okapi and a variety of apes and monkeys in the ‘Life Among the Trees’ exhibit.

Renewable energy could also be used to power Marwell Hall, which is listed as Grade 1.

Zoo keepers sweep the manure out of the animal paddocks and enclosures every morning (pictured)

Zoo keepers sweep the manure out of the animal paddocks and enclosures every morning (pictured)

Zoo keepers sweep the manure out of the animal paddocks and enclosures every morning (pictured)

Dr Duncan East, Head of Sustainability, said: ‘Using heat in this way from our own animals is unique in the UK and, as far as we know, the world over.

“The urgent need to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and leave these high carbon sources in the ground means that we cannot act soon enough to replace the oil heating systems in these buildings.

“Previously, 600 tonnes of animal waste was taken off-site for composting, and this carried a significant carbon transport cost.

The manure and bedding mixture is crushed, mixed, dried and pressed into 'briquettes', which are used as fuel to feed a biomass boiler.

The manure and bedding mixture is crushed, mixed, dried and pressed into 'briquettes', which are used as fuel to feed a biomass boiler.

The manure and bedding mixture is crushed, mixed, dried and pressed into ‘briquettes’, which are used as fuel to feed a biomass boiler.

The zoo will burn manure 'briquettes' to feed a new exhibit that combines tropical animals like Linne's two-toed sloth, free-flying tropical birds, and crocodile monitor lizards with educational exhibits on energy flow, climate change, and modern lifestyles.

The zoo will burn manure 'briquettes' to feed a new exhibit that combines tropical animals like Linne's two-toed sloth, free-flying tropical birds, and crocodile monitor lizards with educational exhibits on energy flow, climate change, and modern lifestyles.

The zoo will burn manure ‘briquettes’ to feed a new exhibit that combines tropical animals like Linne’s two-toed sloth, free-flying tropical birds, and crocodile monitor lizards with educational exhibits on energy flow, climate change, and modern lifestyles.

“We came up with the idea of ​​biomass heat generation to reduce our carbon footprint and turn a previous waste stream into a valuable resource, achieving cost savings in the process.”

The zoo, which ‘champions’ renewable schemes in the local community, has reduced its carbon production by 77 percent since 2008.

Dr. East added: “Replacing the oil heating system with heat generated from the waste of our own animals will greatly reduce our carbon footprint, and what better way than to make use of a material that is in abundance and supply. continuous”.

BIOFUEL EXPLAINED

Biomass is a fuel that is developed from organic materials, a renewable and sustainable energy source that is used to generate electricity or other forms of energy.

Some examples of materials that make up biomass fuels are waste wood, forest waste, crops, manure, and some types of residues.

With a constant supply of waste, from construction and demolition activities to wood that is not used in papermaking and municipal solid waste, green energy production can continue indefinitely.

Biomass is a renewable source of fuel to produce energy because waste residues will always exist, in terms of waste wood, mill waste and forest resources.

Properly managed forests will always have more trees and we will always have crops and the residual biological matter from those crops.

Biomass energy is carbon neutral electricity generated from this renewable organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills, openly burned or left as fodder for wildfires.

When burned, the energy from biomass is released as heat. If you have a fireplace, you are already participating in the use of biomass since the wood that you burn in it is a biomass fuel.

In biomass power plants, wood waste or other wastes are burned to produce steam that runs a turbine to generate electricity or provides heat to industries and homes.

Fortunately, new technologies, including pollution controls and combustion engineering, have advanced to the point that emissions from burning biomass in industrial facilities are generally lower than emissions produced when using fossil fuels such as coal, gas. natural and petroleum.

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