Consider this: If you have cows, you have manure and therefore an untapped resource for electricity, fertilizer and more. Cow manure, as it decomposes, produces methane gas. This gas is an extremely prevalent contributor to greenhouse emissions and global warming. By trapping the methane gas produced by cow manure, farmers are able to harness it and create the renewable energy source known as cow power. Many farmers are turning to cow power in an attempt to be more eco-friendly and to compensate for the rising costs of farming.
The process of creating cow power is relatively simple. Cow manure is collected and mixed with local compost worthy scraps. The mixture is then stored in a holding tank with the rinse water from the farm’s daily equipment cleaning. The holding tank is kept at precisely the same temperature as the inside of a cow’s stomach so that the natural bacteria in the manure can digest and break down the mixture, resulting in biogas. In approximately three weeks, the process is complete and the biogas is passed to an engine which fuels a generator, thus creating electricity.
The electricity that is created from the extracted methane gas is more than enough to power the farms that create it, and then some. Several farms have partnered with their local utility companies to offer cow power as an alternative energy source to their community. Customer participants need no special equipment and have the option of receiving all, or just a portion of their kilowatt usage through this innovate renewable energy source. People who choose to participate in these programs may see a slight rise in their cost of electricity, but that price increase goes to helping other local farms purchase the equipment needed to convert the cow manure. By helping local farmers, communities build strength, and the farms’ main production goods are kept at reasonable prices.
Cow power provides numerous benefits to the farmer. Aside from the sale of excess electricity, cow power conversion produces some valuable byproducts. When the methane is extracted from the cow manure, what is left is a mixture of solids and liquids. This mixture is then separated into liquid fertilizer, and animal bedding. The fertilizer is of high quality, and nearly odorless compared to the traditional alternative. The solid portion of the biofuel waste is dried and compressed, resulting in clean, comfortable animal bedding.
The renewable energy created by the decomposition of cow manure takes hazardous gasses that would normally be released into our environment and turns them into a clean, usable utility. The process of creating cow power renewable energy is kept affordable by community cooperation and a public interest in eco-friendly living.