It has been previously stated here in an article by Crisp Green that generating energy from poop is unlikely. I disagree.
It seems that the idea is not too far-fetched. The New York Times published an article going in that direction. Indeed why buy foreign natural gas when we have ample reserves just next door?
The New York Times notes:
The average cow makes enough waste per day to power a 100-watt light bulb.
(or five energy efficient 20 W bulbs as efficiency matters!)
What if we expanded this idea a bit further? With the tremendous amount of meat consumption, what if all manure was collected and transformed into biogas?
There were indeed no less than 18.9 millions bovines in France in 2006 according to data provided by INRA, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.
If the manure of 10 millions of these bovines was collected and used, we would collect enough energy to power 50 million 20 W bulbs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, almost one for each French person.
This isn’t that much, but I guess we still could slash coal consumption in staggering figures if expanded throughout Europe and the world…
With one stone we could hit two birds: natural gas would replace part of the coal, thus reducing greenhouse gases emissions and the agricultural sector would decrease dramatically its emissions as its amounts of greenhouse gases emitting waste would be slashed.
In the United States, companies like Google, Microsoft and HP could soon be powering their data centers with cow manure collected and transformed into biogas locally.
Hewlett Packard recently demonstrated that methane coming from cows could be a sustainable energy source for data centers.
Photo : flickr