It's mostly bad news when it gets under your shoes, but scientists now believe cow dung may be more of a blessing in disguise than previously believed. According to a team at the University of Texas Austin, if the manure from hundreds of millions of livestock in the U.S. were to go through anaerobic digestion—a fermentation process similar to one to create compost—it could turn into an energy-rich biogas. The gas would be efficient enough to produce 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity; that could meet about 3 percent of North America's entire consumption needs. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from biogas-burning plants is significantly less than from those burning coal, too.
And there's even more good news: The procedure is eco-friendly. Ordinarily, livestock manure left out in the open to decompose gives off two potent greenhouse gases: methane and nitrous oxide. The first warms the atmosphere 21 times more than carbon dioxide and the latter 310 more. But the manure-to-biogas process could reduce greenhouse gasses by as much as 99 million metric tons. In other words, it would remove 4 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions from electricity production. Goes to show not all waste is wasteful matter.
Via The Telegraph
What about Human poop? Can that be turned into energy too?
~~ WildWizzle from CA
this isnt new, a guy on dirty jobs does this with his cows and i know this can work from personal experiance
wow in texas they have finally caught up with what the peace corps, and countries like india and africa have BEEN doing - and they say a US education is worthless !!! ??? DAH!
gee you can also use the heat produced to heat solid masses like um rocks and pump that heat into near by stuctures by running water
through the storage mass and through the floor of the structure ...another old idea .....but perhaps if people keep acting like its a new idea then one day people will demand it be used.....instead of ignoring it and ripping the landscape apart to find something underground!!!!! so i guess---- fund &repeat....... fund &repeat the world hits the snooze button on the best concepts, we must raise the alarm again and again and hope that a new generation will lead us back home...........
This is already being done by a farmer in Cal. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2008/07/17/pkg.cow.manure.farm.kxtv?iref=videosearch
I've also heard of a few other farmers that are doing it. Not sure why it's breaking news now.
Indeed. Popular Science itself had articles about anaerobic digester designs way back in the 70s. It's almost like the magazine has forgotten its own history. There's so much that seems to have been consigned to the dustbin of history once the oil embargo passed back then. Passive solar collectors. Underground houses. How we squandered the decades living in blissful and intentional ignorance.
This is a load of bull, all right. Manure produces methane primarily if it's stored in a lagoon (anaerobic decomposition), not if it's spread on fields (aerobic). And nitrous oxide is released just the same when you burn the biogas.
Electricity from biogas is prohibitively expensive. I've been reading this pie-in-the-sky nonsense for 40 years.