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biodigester

An architectural rendering of the Detroit Zoo biodigester.
Detroit Zoological Society

If zoos have a lot of one thing, it's manure.

That's why the Detroit Zoo turned to Michigan State University researcher Dana Kirk to help turn that manure into power.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A biodigester could be temporarily shut down if the operators can’t figure out how to stop foul smells from wafting over the city of Lowell. This week the Lowell city council voted to instruct its attorney to send a letter to operators to shut down the biodigester until the smell is gone.

The biodigester converts beer waste, salad dressing and manure into methane gas that powers a turbine and generates electricity.

Greg Northrup, a managing partner of the digester, acknowledges smell is still an issue, but he says it should be resolved in the next few days.