While I'm not above taking a crack at a good poop joke, this one speaks for itself. Vermont is toying with the idea of using cow manure for electricity. It's certainly not the first time that suggestion has been made. But it is the first time it has been deemed economically feasible. The State of Vermont recently conducted a study that showed the financial as well as the environmental benefits of using a manure-to-power process.
See the excerpt below from ENN.
Vermont Experiments in Cow Power
From: David A Gabel, ENN
Published October 17, 2011 10:25 AM
...The process of producing power from manure is relatively simple and straight forward. The average cow is capable of producing over 30 gallons of manure every day. For a large farm with say 1,000 cows, that means 30,000 gallons of manure per day, quite a hefty load! The manure is fed into an anaerobic digester where it stays for 21 days at 100 degrees F. Bacteria convert the waste into methane gas. As the gas builds within the digester, the pressure rises, and the gas is exhausted through piping to the modified natural gas engine. The engine powers the generator, producing electricity. Excess heat from the engine is used to keep the digester warm.
One cow's waste per day is sufficient to power 2 100-watt light bulbs per day. The energy is added to the grid and purchased from the CVPS electric system. For the study, 4,600 customers purchased this power, paying an additional $0.04 per kilowatt hour, or roughly $470,000 annually.
Then there is the leftover manure that comes out of the digester. It is processed through a mechanical separator, and the resulting product is an odorless solid waste. It can be used as bedding for the animals or even sold to the public as fertilizer...
To read more, click here.
Image courtesy of MadCow.net