It has been talked about for years, using the numerous cow pats that are to be found on a dairy farm to generate energy, but now a dairy farm in China has made this a reality on a large scale.
The Huishan Dairy in Liaoning province in China has installed a generator that is 10 times bigger than anything installed before, and it will generate almost six megawatts of electricity, which is enough to keep 3,500 American style houses in electricity, but in China where most households use a lot less, this can power many more.
The power is generated by extracting the methane from fermenting cow pats, and the farm will be taking the poop from 60,000 cows to keep the generators fired up.
Dairy farming in China is an industry that is growing rapidly, and the farm imports 3,000 cows a month from Australia, just to maintain it’s herd of 250,000 cows.
Compared to farms in Europe, and even most farms in the USA, this number is huge, and it’s hard to believe what conditions these animals live in.
Unfortunately along with cows comes some bad news, as has been seen recently in the press, and this is the huge emission of methane that they generate.
The Chinese dairy industry has helped to make it the largest source of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming in the world.
The good news, however, is that with the cow pats being used to generate electricity, the greenhouse gas pollution from this farm will be greatly reduced, and as well as the generation of electricity, the waste product can be used as an organic fertilizer, that is a lot safer than raw manure.
ABC News Australia