Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Fatberg Heaters

  [vote for,

Run miles heating coils down crucial sewer drains.with automatic thermostats. Would prevent oils from solidifying that cause fatbergs.

Costly but would reduce the need for emergency response down there and the even more expensive human labour.

Obviously the energy use would be unpopular so it would have to also run on the colected fatberg energy.

bob, Jan 09 2019


       Hmmm ... fatberg harvesting ? Burn the fat as a renewable biofuel ? Make biodiesel ?
8th of 7, Jan 09 2019

       Why can't it be burnt in situ? The biggest fatbergs are often in brick-lined sewers that could probably take the heat, and partial burning would provide the heat to melt the rest.   

       You might need to run some oxygen lines down to get it going well.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 09 2019

       //Why can't it be burnt in situ? //   

       I vote we ventilate the outgasing somewhere on the far edges of the Buchanan estate, so as not to be close enough to the manor for the smell to waft in, on most days...
RayfordSteele, Jan 10 2019


       Either sewers need to be well-ventilated, which keeps the methane concentration below the LEL but spreads the pong far and wide (the french & Belgian method) or nearly airtight, so that the methane level is well above the HEL (but the gas then becomes asphyxiant due to oxygen deficiency).   

       If the mix is somewhere in between then the mixture doesn't just burn, it detonates. In a sewer pipe, an effect called "pressure piling" occurs and the flame-front rapidly goes supersonic. And then, not to put too fine a point on it, shit happens. Manhole covers get launched amazing distances, toilet U-bends "blow back", other underground services are disrupted, and roadways collapse.   

       Melting the fatbergs with steam and extracting the resultant oily liquid would be best; explosion-proof electric heaters are bulky and expensive, whereas steam is inherently safe.
8th of 7, Jan 10 2019

       //Melting the fatbergs with steam and extracting the resultant oily liquid would be best// But you just said that burning them could cause amazing explosions.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2019

       The methane, not the fatbergs - please, do try to keep up.   

       As you very well know, anaerobic digestion of sewage by bacteria releases methane. This process is exploited on a commercial scale.
8th of 7, Jan 10 2019

       Clearing away fatbergs using nothing more than teaspoons could be a punishment of particular dread for certain crimes.
xenzag, Jan 10 2019

       The obvious one being "disposing of waste oil and fat down the drains".   

       But tracking down the culprits would be challenging.
8th of 7, Jan 10 2019

       Scoop out cylindrical cores of the fatberg with remote boring tools, dip in batter, deep-fry then sell in Southern USA, Scotland, etc. Supply and demand will be in some sort of weird symbiotic, sine-wave cycle.
AusCan531, Jan 11 2019

       You're suggesting selling partially decayed, congealed lipids retrieved from sewers and then deep fried - to the scotch ?   

       It's not an unreasonable business proposition, but we question if there is sufficient demand for that sort of "Haute Cuisine" as they would term it to the north of Hadrian's Wall. You would need to tap into the population of sophisticated, discriminating Caledonians ... why not start with something easy, like finding the Loch Ness monster ?
8th of 7, Jan 11 2019


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