Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Being creative with cow-pie

Utah uses its surplus of dung in a very creative way. You can buy a cow-pie clock, mirror or even a cow-ball. A tag assures you that the "Farm Fresh" Cow-Pies were carefully hand-picked from millions of organically grown specimens, sun-dried in the fields of Southern Utah.

As you might or might not know, cow dung can also be used to produce energy from. The Alberta Research Council in Canada developped IMUS, the Integrated Manure Utilization System.

The electricity needs of one million households could be satisfied by the six million beef cattle in Alberta if all their manure could be made into power plant fuel. The initial plant will run on the output of 7,500 animals.

Beef cattle produce more than four times their weight in manure in a year, about three tonnes each. A tonne of manure yields about three cubic metres of methane.

The manure from six cows can be converted into enough gas to generate the typical electricity needs of one Alberta household.