CAN CARS RUN ON COW MANURE?

By Ruth Carol Atieno

Both cows and cars are huge polluters of the environment. Cows release harmful gases into the air that is, methane through burps and farts. Cows are producers of ammonia which is also a pollutant. For the cars it is quite obvious, we all know how much of a pollutant a car can be. The good news is the gases produced by cows can be used to run cars and I will tell you how.

Manure From Cows

Did you know that the amount of manure produced by a single cow in a year can run a car for up to 9000 Km? For this to work the manure from cows has to go through a process of improvement to achieve the end result which is used to run a car.

With the aid of Bacteria, the manure is fermented in an anaerobic digester to produce biogas. This fermentation process takes about 60 days and cow manure is added to the digester on a daily basis. The biogas in the digester contains approximately 50% methane and 50% CO2. The CO2 is then separated from the methane. The separation is achieved by passing the gas through a very fine mesh or membrane.

The methane gas can now be used to power vehicles while the CO2 can be used in other processes for instance stimulation of plant growth in greenhouses.

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Conclusion

Looks like livestock farmers are sitting on a gold mine and also a planet saver. It is time they invested on anaerobic digesters to produce this clean fuel. Methane gas derived from the above process is the cleanest car fuel and this will have reduced the amount of carbon emissions contributed by cars each time they are running.

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