The zoo powered by poo

Did you know that animal poo can be really useful? Watch this video to find out what a zoo in the UK does with it!


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Presenter: Who knew the power of poo was so mighty? Here at Marwell Zoo in south-east England they're putting animal poo to good use. 

Duncan, it's great to meet you. Thank you for talking to Newsround. Just tell us, how do you convert animal poo into energy?

Duncan: We start with the keepers, who are obviously out cleaning the animal houses every day, and they sweep up the poo from the paddocks and from inside the animal houses and they pop it in a wheelie bin, where it gets collected by our animal-waste truck. That waste is then shredded, 'cause we need a very fine material to be able to process it, and then dried so we've got a fairly sort of low moisture content. So it's a nice dry material. And after we've shredded and compacted it, this is what it turns into. And you can see the little fragments of straw still in there …

Presenter: Yeah.

Duncan: … all mixed up with that poo but packed into a really hard lump. 

Presenter: Those lumps basically turn into a type of fuel which when burnt heat a massive boiler. And that energy is then transferred into heat to warm up this enclosure, the tropical house, here at the zoo. And it's quite amazing to think that poo from the animals outside are actually helping the ones inside here.

Duncan: We've got a lot of buildings on site, both for animals and people, that we need to keep warm in the winter and at the moment those are all heated with oil, but we want to get rid of fossil fuels, particularly oil, because they release a lot of carbon. And so this allows us to provide an awful lot of heat from a very simple process that uses our own waste material.

Presenter: Marwell Zoo want to heat up even more enclosures in the same way, using poo for the greater good.



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