Overheard: Word of the Day

Oct 26 2007   1:03PM GMT

Overheard: Bovine energy is serious alternative energy source

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Bovine energy is a hot topic in biofuel research. Don’t laugh. There are 1.5 billion cows on planet earth and each of them manufactures an average of 100 pounds of manure a day. That’s a lot of methane gas.

Before I read about bovine energy, I pictured it pretty much the way the folks at the One Laptop Per Child initiative are using it. (see photo below) Not very efficient.

But as I read more, I began to understand how serious a source of energy cows could be. With a methane digester, even a small farm can recycle the gas cows produce in their manure to produce some serious electricity. The farm in the video (middle) brings in an extra $30k a month from selling their cow-generated electricity.

Instead of asking “got milk” maybe we should be asking “got fuel?”

cow-power-olpc.jpg Cows being used to power a generator for the OneLaptopPerChild initiative.Sumner Lemon

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/A8GDK7dtsSA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

cow.jpg Using the cow’s digestive system to power energy cells.
Hannah Velten

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