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The world's cutest biofuel: burning bunnies. Answered

Stockholm has a pest problem - thousands of rabbits (the descendants of escaped pets) have to be culled every year to stop them eating all the green spaces.  The culled bunnies are frozen and stored.

But the fate of these cute corpses is causing a stir amongst Stockholm residents.

The rigid rabbits are collected by contractors, taken to the town of Karlskog, and burned to heat the town.

Leo Virta, the Managing Director of Konvex - the plant's suppliers - told the BBC that Konvex has developed a new way of processing animal waste with funding from the EU as part of the Biomal project.

He says that with this new method, raw animal material is crushed, ground and then pumped to a boiler where it is burned together with wood chips, peat or waste to produce renewable heat.

"It is a good system as it solves the problem of dealing with animal waste and it provides heat," said Mr Virta.

The Karlskogans don't mind what provides their heat, but in Stockholm, the urbanised residents think they're just too cute to burn...

What do you think?  Clever use of waste biomass, or cruelty to bunnies?

Comments

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PKM
PKM

Reply 11 years ago

Why? If the rabbits were going to be culled anyway, and were killed in as humane a manner as practical, does it matter what the city then do with them?<br /> <br /> I suspect, as TUA kind-of said, this is only newsworthy because of the "WTF factor". Yes, the sun-to-radiators efficiency isn't great, but this is presumably just a two-birds-with-one-stone (NPI) solution for getting rid of the unwanted rabbit corpses. My guess is they would have been incinerated anyway for <a href="http://www.biomal.com/index.php?id=21">health reasons</a>, and this is just recovering a little energy from that process.<br /> <br /> Have to love the little diagram on the biomal website of a lorry full of cows :)<br />

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crapflinger
crapflinger

Reply 11 years ago

the two birds rule is probably a good application here....they almost deffinitely would be incenerating the bunnies anyway because they probably cannot sell them for food production due to the fact that they're wild bunnies (probably also killed by poisoning anyway)

though...if you're going to claim it as a green energy source...you have to justify the transportation etc...

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PKM
PKM

Reply 11 years ago

Well, I guess the idea for the future is bunny-powered lorries will transport them to the bunny-powered freezer, then to the bunny-powered crushing/grinding/pumping station. 

I like the mental image of a bunny-powered lorry with rows of hamster wheels along the sides driving the transmission :)

When the energy used in making biofuel itself comes from renewable sources, then "we have only to find a cure for the common cold and the atomic bomb and mankind may yet have its season in the sun".

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Molten Boron
Molten Boron

Reply 11 years ago

What would a cure for the atomic bomb be like?

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 11 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinococcus_radiodurans

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Wasagi
Wasagi

Reply 11 years ago

 Ohhhh..

I thought it would be about Radiactive Dromeosaurids, I was wrong..

Still, Really cool!

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PKM
PKM

Reply 11 years ago

As a consequence of its hardiness, it has been nicknamed "Conan the Bacterium"
This makes me happy :)

This also makes me happy... crazy stuff.
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Molten Boron
Molten Boron

Reply 11 years ago

Woah!
Of course those nerds picked "It's A Small World." I certainly would have!
I am going to go make a cartoon about Conan the Bacterium.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 years ago

Bunnies do not <em>run</em> well, they pretty much hop, even at top speed, so placing them inside wheels would not work well... ;-)<br /> <div id="refHTML"> </div>

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Wasagi
Wasagi

11 years ago

 Excellent. 

Actually, that is a bit cruel, why not, like, pond smelt, no one likes those (Bad Animal Crossing Memories...)..

Hmmmmmmmmm..........

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bowmaster
bowmaster

11 years ago

 HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Made my day.

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Rock Soldier
Rock Soldier

11 years ago

Do they kill them before they burn them?
I think they should take a few rabbits, and start a rabbit farm. That way, they have "bunny fuel" and they can, like others suggested, give rabbits to third world countries, and hungry people.

0
PKM
PKM

Reply 11 years ago

The culled bunnies are frozen and stored.

But the fate of these cute corpses...

The rigid rabbits are ... burned to heat the town.

Yes, they do.

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Molten Boron
Molten Boron

Reply 11 years ago

I like the part about the bunnehs being crushed and ground!
I don't think they are alive after that, not in any conventional sense at least...

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Lego man
Lego man

11 years ago

Why don't they send the bunnies to countries that need food? they are an excellent source of it and reproduce very fast

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Molten Boron
Molten Boron

11 years ago

If logs were cute like bunnies, you'd have people jumping down your throat about burning THEM, too!

There was a facility near where I lived that would incinerate roadkill to dispose of it. The smell was incredible. I wouldn't heat a town using that method unless there was no more normal fuel or sunlight.

(LOL @ "cute corpses" and "rigid rabbits")
and now they're burned bunnies.

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

11 years ago

What's the BTU output rating on a bunneh? More efficient than wood, coal, oil or gas?

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 11 years ago

I think the selling points are "almost free" and "self renewing".

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 years ago

Dirt is nearly free (although not exactly self renewing) but that doesn't make it an efficient fuel source. :-)<br /> <div id="refHTML"> </div>

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The Ideanator
The Ideanator

Reply 11 years ago

The sun is too (with current technology), but does that mean we cant convert dirt or bunnies (also the sun) into power more efficiently?

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 years ago

It, at present, takes a lot of energy to convert dirt (or bunnies) into more energy....the losses are pretty substantial...<br /> <div id="refHTML"> </div>

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Goodhart
Goodhart

11 years ago

If they could trap them in large quantities, they could be processed as a food source.....but rabbits are not a foodstuff someone one would want to subsist on only. <div id="refHTML"> </div>

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Tool Using Animal
Tool Using Animal

11 years ago

Sounds like yet another publicity stunt.  Your synopsis left out that they also freeze the rabbits before shipping.
So we start with a plant converting sunlight into biomass 3-6% efficiency.
an animal converting plants into meat  3-50% efficiency
and an incinerator converting animals into energy 30-50% efficiency.
This leaves out the transportation and freezing losses.

For a total efficiency between .03% and 1.5% 

If this is the future of green energy, we are doomed in short order.
Better to send the carcasses to a food bank, or are there no poor people in Sweden?

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 11 years ago

Note to chefs at IKEA, "Push the rabbit stew." Wait a minute, what kind of meat is in these meatballs?

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lemonie
lemonie

11 years ago

I've done the research for you, see here:<br /> <a href="http://www.biomal.com/uploads/media/Biomal-Laymanrapport-Eng.pdf">pdf overview</a><br /> <a href="http://www.biomal.com">www.biomal.com</a><br /> <br /> L<br /> <br />