Have you ever noticed that every time President Obama takes our hard earned money and “invests” it with another green energy company, that business turns to sh*t? Fisker Automotive and Solyndra are great examples of this–but there are many more.
Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana goes straigh to the crap part. They turn cow manure into fuel…but not the “usual” way (who knew there was a usual way?)
This 30,000 acre dairy farm harnesses the power of poop from tens of thousands of cows, to run its barns, offices, cheese factory and gift shop. What takes this farm one step ahead of the others is its ability to power its 42 tractor trailers that deliver milk to nearby states with renewable gas that also comes from animal waste. “We’re self sufficient and we’re lowering our carbon footprint” says Gary Corbett, Fair Oaks Farm CEO.
The process of turning the waste into natural gas by using what are called anaerobic digesters, has become much more efficient. “We take the manure from the cows and put it into sealed digester vessels, the manure is heated to 100 degrees at which the bacteria produces methane and CO2, which is called biogas. The Biogas is cleaned to remove the CO2, using water and pressure to create biomethane, which is then odorized to create renewable natural gas” explains Mark Stoermann of AMP Americas, an energy company partnering with Fair Oaks Farm to create the fuel.
The cow power concept is also saving the farm millions of dollars a year. “We were running all these diesel trucks and we began to look at the potential of replacing all that diesel with natural gas. Then we figured out how to create our own natural gas instead of buying the diesel, so it saves us a lot of money, lowers emissions and helps clean up air quality in the cities where the trucks deliver” Corbett explains. “In 2013, we will take personally 2-million gallons of diesel of the road that we used in 2011 to deliver our milk.” And Corbett says, the biofuel burns cleanly so its better for the environment.
“With renewable natural gas, using organic waste like we’re doing here, there really is an unlimited supply as long as we continue to produce waste products and are able to digest them and convert them into energy.” says Stoermann.
Don’t think Fair Oaks is being species-centric they use pig poo also, harvisting energy from 3,000 pigs along with their 36,000 cows. Althought the pig waste is not as efficient a fuel source, they mix it in with the cow dung (kind of the way we put ethanol in with automotive fuel).
“We’re working with dairy producers and other industries to start to power their fleets on natural renewable natural gas all through the United States, and AMP America’s is building out infrastructure to allow them to be able fuel all up and down the interstate highway system.” Stoermann adds.
Its a fuel source not only for the farms but for nearby towns as well “One cow can power 150 homes” says Erin Fitzgerald, from The Innovation Center for US Dairy. And since the excess gas can be sold back to the grid “Its a new source of revenue for dairy farmers” who have been struggling in recent years, she says.
ISome energy experts can forsee a time when our homes, factories and cars will run on Cow manure. And why not? Our Government has been running on bull-sh*t for years.
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