Some Michigan dairy farmers are turning one of their stinkiest problems into a business proposition. They're fermenting the manure of pigs and cows to produce electricity.
Scenic View Dairy farm is like a lot of dairy farms. They've got nearly 3,500 cows and 9,400 pigs and acres of corn. They've also got an anabolic digestion system that converts animal waste into power.
First, the manure gets pumped into tanks where it's heated to promote the growth of methane producing bacteria. The methane gas is then pumped to another building where half of it is prepared for use in Michigan's natural gas pipeline and the other half powers two generators. The generators provide more than enough electricity for the farm and the excess is sold.
The solid byproduct of the manure fermentation is a mulch-like fiber that can be used as bedding for the cows. Any leftover liquid is used as fertilizer.
So next time you're driving through the country in your Tesla Roadster, give a shout-out to those smelly bovines. They're helping make it possible.
Source: Detroit Free Press