Steaming cowpats = electricity

A dairy in China is installing the world's largest cowpat to electricity system in the world.

The UN has found that cows account for more greenhouse gases than automobiles.

A bovine’s bothersome bowels could power your home in the future. A Chinese dairy has begun to install the world’s largest systems for capturing methane from fermenting cowpats to produce electricity.

Huishan Dairy is implementing a system to capture methane from the waste of nearly 60,000 cows, The Associate Press reports. The methane will generate 6 megawatts of electricity, which would power approximately 3,500 households in the United States.

Rearing cows (no pun intended) generates more greenhouse gases worldwide than driving cars, according to a 2006 report published by the United Nations. More cows means more methane.

Over 3,000 cows are imported from Australia to the dairy each month just to sustain its 250,000 head herd, the AP says. The Huishan Dairy project would ostensibly lessen the environmental impact of China’s rapidly growing cattle industry.

China isn’t the only place that has determined there is power in poop. Human waste is powering over 200 homes on the national grid of the UK.

My colleague Melissa Mahony found that the average human makes 66 pounds of “sludge” per year, whereas; a cow makes 140 pounds of manure waste per day. Maybe the UK should import more cows.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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