A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook recently about collecting methane from cows.
Most people are familiar with carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas, but there are two other big ones, water (H2O) and methane (CH4).
Water is the preferable one. It only has a large greenhouse gas effect because there is so much of it.
Methane actually has a larger greenhouse gas impact than water or carbon dioxide if one molecule is compared to another (30x that of carbon dioxide).
The good thing about methane is that it only stays in the atmosphere temporarily.
Carbon dioxide never leaves the atmosphere.
Methane takes about ten years to degrade into a carbon dioxide molecule and two water molecules.
During those ten years methane is pretty bad and the biggest controllable source of methane is cows.
Cows fart a lot. According to the article, about 300 liters of methane gas per day.
The fartpack collects that methane before the cow farts and stores it in the cow’s backpack.
The methane can be collected at the end of the day and turned into fuel.
The fuel is then burned and turned into carbon dioxide, but this is a good process. It’s carbon-neutral.
The carbon dioxide from the fartpack would’ve already been released into the atmosphere as methane and then turned into carbon dioxide in ten years.
The fartpack never lets the methane into the atmosphere and gives us a renewable source of carbon fuel.
The article indicates that strapping fartpacks on to every cow at a dairy farm isn’t cost effective, but its a cool new green energy idea that some farmers might get grants for.
Pretty soon you might be driving a car powered by cow farts!