Manure could power America

Posted by Laura Grant on August 13, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

Cow poo is not to be sniffed at. It could be used to generate enough electricity to meet up to 3 percent of North America’s entire consumption needs, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research.

Through anaerobic digestion manure can be turned into energy-rich biogas, which standard microturbines can use to produce electricity. The hundreds of millions of livestock in the United States could produce about 100-billion kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power millions of homes and offices, says the research.

Left to decompose naturally, manure emits two particularly potent greenhouse gases – nitrous oxide and methane. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, nitrous oxide warms the atmosphere 310 times more than carbon dioxide, methane does so 21 times more.

Source: Science Daily

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