Cow Power

Topics: Natural gas, World energy resources and consumption, Energy development Pages: 5 (1763 words) Published: May 2, 2013
The world population is expected to continue to grow. With growth, comes additional demand on our world energy resources. Most of energy source today however are from fossil fuel. Fossil fuel unfortunately is a non-renewable energy resource and it is completely unsustainable. The population in the United States alone is expected to more than double by 2050.What are we to do about our future energy demand? One of the answers to this fuel problem is bio-fuels. However, most of bio-fuels today are produced from the land and we will need all the land we can just in order for us to feed the world. The question now is, what is the solution? The solution is “Cow Power.” Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week: cow shit. The more politically correct term however is cow manure, but for those of us who have drove through or live near a dairy farm, we wouldn’t dare call the smell anything else but cow shit. Unbelievably, some creative genius has figured out a way to put this bad smells to better use. Cow power is a new undertaking of company like Elite Energy LLC and has gain popularity as a source of energy and supplemental incomes for dairy farmers all across the United States. As a matter of fact, there are methane digestion initiatives going on all over the world. The adaptability of anaerobic digestion process makes cow manure a viable option for producing electricity with minimal environment impacts.

Cow Power
One cow can generate over 30 gallons of manure a day. That is a lot of poop especially considering the average herd size of cows on an American’s dairy farm is 500 to 1,000. If you multiply that by thousands of dairy farmers across the country, there is over a billion ton of manure annually, which in turn releases large of amount of greenhouse gas into our atmosphere. This is important because methane on dairy farms account for majority of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. If methane digester were installed on just most of California’s dairies alone, they would protect the climate as much as taking more than one million cars off the road. Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion is not a new technology at all; the first anaerobic digester was constructed in India back in 1859 and has recently begun to gain popularity among dairy farmers and numbers of government in many countries around the world due to rising energy costs along with public concern over our planet energy supplies. Cow power, however, still remains a largely unexploited source of alternative energy source. The innovative technology behind creating electricity from cow manure takes advantage of the natural gas that is produce through the digestion of manure by bacteria. This process happens naturally but it is diluted due to exposure to oxygen. By using an anaerobic digester process, the natural digestion of manure by bacteria is sped up and the biogas can be more efficiently captured and converted into clean energy. The manure is first collected and fed into the anaerobic digester. The digester is a closed concrete holding tank that utilizes a biological process to convert organic waste materials to a methane rich gas and other products. The waste is held at 101 degrees Fahrenheit in a holding tank, the same temperature as a cow’s stomach. Holding it at this temperature allow the bacteria to nosh on the nutrients in the manure and releases biogas. As the pressure builds inside the digester the biogas is injected into a modified natural gas motor. The motor spins an electrical generator that produces both electricity and heat. Much of the electricity produced can be used by the dairy farm and any excess can be sold back to the utility company for a tidy profit. The heat generated by the motor also can be put to good use maintaining the elevated temperature in the digester. The byproducts of this procedure is biologically stabilized. The solid wastes are fully decomposed and the material almost odorless and can be used as bedding for...
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