Cow Poower! Bacteria Turn Poo into Fuel

Silvia Celiberti
October 17th 2013

Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana is squeezing out more than milk from their 36,000 cows. Around 2 million gallons of compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel is created each year from tons and tons of cow poop.

With a $19 million anaerobic digester (a system that simulates the same process that happens in cows' guts) the cows' manure gets sucked below the stalls into a huge tank and heated for as long as 16  days. The bacteria in the tank break down the organic matter and convert it into fuel for heating, electricity and transport, leaving behind as a side product a very nutritious fertilizer for the farm's fields.

This process is actually nothing new: for years, third world farmers have been using methane created from manure to run electrical generators, with the huge advantage of creating local fuel in countries with little to no infrastructure. The real news is that the U.S. is also beginning to implement this technology on a big scale. As the CEO of Fair Oaks Farm reiterates, we’re going to need sustainability, creativity, and innovation to survive in the 21st century.

For more visions on the future, cows, food and the environment check out our In Vitro Meat Cookbook. Pre-order your copy today!

Read the full story on Aljazeera. Image via Geekologie.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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