Dung power at U.S. ethanol plant

US - The frosty-breathed cattle jostling for position at a feeding trough in rural Nebraska are not quite as typical as they appear: their manure is being captured in a new bid to quench America's thirst for ethanol.
calendar icon 26 February 2007
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Like other cows in the Midwestern landscape, the animals at the Mead plant, part of an experimental scheme dubbed "Genesis", churn out a steady supply of energy-rich excrement each day.

But these 27,000 cattle stand on slatted floors to deposit an estimated 1.6 million pounds (726,000 kg) of dung daily into deep pits, which are located adjacent to a new ethanol plant.

The pungent waste is then processed into methane gas, which powers the ethanol plant. Other byproducts of the manure include fertilizer for the surrounding corn fields. Corn is then fed back to the cattle or distilled into ethanol.

The operations all are contained in one 2,000-acre complex which produces about 24 million gallons of ethanol a year.

Source: Reuters
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