Russian tank invention: To lay waste upon the enemy

Aleksandr Georgievich Semenov patented an efficiently disgusting weapon system. Using his method, soldiers inside an armoured tank, under battle conditions, can dispose of their biological waste products in an unwasteful way: encasing those materials, together with explosives, in artillery shells that they then fire at the enemy.

Semenov, residing in St Petersburg, can and does brag of having Russian patent #2399858, granted in 2009, officially titled Method of Biowaste Removal From Isolated Dwelling Compartment of Military Facility And Device or Its Implementation. As patents go, it’s of modest length: 12 pages, with only two technical drawings. The original document is mostly in Russian. The prolific inventor (he has about 200 other patents), sent me a full translation into English….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

BONUS [September 6, 2012]: An interview with the inventor.