We’ve heard of solar power, wind power and hydroelectric power, but cow-pat power? It seems that a Chinese dairy farm in Liaoning province is in the midst of installing the world’s largest system to turn the excrement from 60,000 cows into enough energy (5.6 megawatts!) to power thousands of homes. That’s right fellas, in a few years’ time your iPod/Pad/Mat could be powered by sustainable turd.
The process involves breaking down the waste into gases that are then exposed to iron oxide and burned to produce electricity. Huishan Dairy currently imports 3,000 cows from Australia per month to sustain its fleet of 250,000. According to Popsci, the energy generated could reduce carbon emissions by 180,000 tons annually.
“It shows this is not a phantom technology we have to wait for in the future,” Ann Wilkie, professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Florida says. “It’s something we can do now to deal with existing waste, and garner renewable energy.”
With its huge issues concerning fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emission, this device will hopefully catch on for its ability to kill two birds with one reeking stone. Perhaps China might even be used as a model for the US, where methane converters only account for 1% of farms. Now ain’t that the sh*t?