Scientists at the University of South Florida are taking the lab to the landfill, refining a groundbreaking process that uses trash to make liquid fuel.
Across the United States, more than 3,000 active landfills are currently producing a potentially valuable, but often unutilized resource - biogas.
food waste, lawn clippings, agricultural waste), biogas is generally made up of methane and carbon dioxide.
While the idea of utilizing garbage as a power source is nothing new - think Doc Brown's DeLorean in Back to the Future - efficiently creating liquid fuel from common wastes would represent a big step forward.
"There are many ways to take biomass and convert that to energy forms," said USF Professor Babu Joseph, PhD, in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering.
Then use the heat to produce electricity.