Monday, April 21st 2014 - 07:13 UTC

Argentine experiment to catch livestock's flatulence and convert it into energy

Argentina's National Institute for Agricultural Technology (INTA) has invented a way to convert cow flatulence into usable energy, and it involves putting a plastic backpack on a cow. Livestock are responsible for a remarkable amount of global methane emissions, which are a major cause of global warming.

Each cow can produce 300 liters of methane gas a day

 According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cow flatulence and burping, accounts for 5.5 million metric tons of methane per year in the United States, that's 20% of total US methane emissions.

According to the INTA experimentation, tubes run from the backpack into the cows' rumen (or biggest digestive tract). They extract about 300 liters of methane a day, which is enough to run a car or a fridge for about 24 hours.

Pablo Soranda, INTA press officer, said that the project is more about making a point than it is converting people to a way of life.

“We can imagine a future farm with a couple of these cows used to provide energy to satisfy the farm’s needs”, according to Soranda.

21 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 Heisenbergcontext (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 07:42 am Report abuse
There you go Geoff.
2 LEPRecon (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 08:21 am Report abuse
Well I suppose they've got to try a different power source since they haven't got the dollars to buy LNG.

Just how much flatulence is needed to power BA? A millions cows? Or just the hot air that the government currently spews out?
3 La Patria (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 10:37 am Report abuse
Connect the apparatus up to cfk's microphone to power up the country
4 GeoffWard2 (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 12:23 pm Report abuse
Seems it needs an operation on each and every cow!

A back-pack should have a chemical transformative device to convert the methane gas to a solid - which can then be reconstituted to gas following collection at the morning milking. A bit like CCS.
High volume to low volume for collection and - even more importantly - for 'fuel' use. Methane pellets powering cars.
5 ChrisR (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 12:47 pm Report abuse
Methane pellets by Jimminy!

Let’s hope this isn’t by the use of carbon otherwise the 125 bar (1,837 psi) at 25 degC could be a bit of a problem for the backside of the cow! :o)

I can just imagine my farmer friend in the UK (250 head plus followers) allowing all of his cows to have these operations.

BTW, have a look on this poor animal’s face and the restraining straps must be comfortable, NOT.

Does anybody seriously believe that this is the way forward to reduce the 20% methane for the yanks? If they do they should have a rubber tube inserted up their rectum for a month or two and see how they like it (no operation involve either).

It will keep numbnuts at the IPCC happy.
6 ManRod (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 01:18 pm Report abuse
now that the Respsol proyect “vaca muerta” (dead cow) is reaaaaally dead, they have to find cow-energy alternatives...
7 Optimus_Princeps (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 02:45 pm Report abuse
And this article isn't even satirical. I'm leaving Argentina in 6 months for greener pastures away from thieving politicians, presidents with botox and people that try to generate power through flatulence.
8 yankeeboy (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 03:16 pm Report abuse
This is silly and cruel.
9 Gordo1 (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 03:31 pm Report abuse
And it's neither April 1st nor el Día de los Inocentes!
10 malicious bloke (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 04:03 pm Report abuse
This one is just too easy
11 Bisley (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 04:31 pm Report abuse
The “global warming” scare is a fraud and this is an insane waste of time and money. It's time to drop these invented problems and start dealing with the real ones, before expanding government control of everything enslaves us and it's borrowing destroys the value of currency and crashes the economy.
12 ChrisR (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 05:18 pm Report abuse
@ 11 Bisley

Couldn’t have put it better myself!

The real problem with the politicians is that they never deal with the real problem. (IPCC speak)
13 Briton (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 06:48 pm Report abuse
It just goes to show,
just how much cows and CFK have in common, depending which end its coming from,
the results are just the same.
14 Jack Bauer (#) Apr 21st, 2014 - 07:02 pm Report abuse
Finally the Rg Trolls will be able to contribute....all they'll need will be a few mouthpacks....
15 ynsere (#) Apr 22nd, 2014 - 03:52 am Report abuse
Yup, if they can harness the methane produced by cattle and find a use for jellyfish, the world will envy us.
16 Zaphod102 (#) Apr 22nd, 2014 - 04:27 am Report abuse
There may be something in the details, but legally you can't invent something that has already been patented or otherwise published.
17 CabezaDura2 (#) Apr 22nd, 2014 - 04:45 am Report abuse
Easy jokes aside, Its not actually flatulence, its the eructation of the rumiant process that produces all of the gas... Still the surgery to have in place a fistula in order to test the digestibility of different feed of livestock in the rumen of a cow is a common procedure and the animal doesnt even feel it, you can take the cap off and remove samples of the rumen with your hands and the cow doesnt even notice it....This however it is a expensive surgery and takes special care of the animal and a constant watch for infection...I dont see this as practical nor economically viable in large scale.

I always wondered how about a way of harnessing the gas of maize silage. If it hasn't been done so far is that probably the volume and purity of the gas good enough?? Dont know

I do know its damn inflammable
18 Pete Bog (#) Apr 22nd, 2014 - 08:51 am Report abuse
How cruel and stupid.
If grass is cut and put into a (metallic) methane digester it will produce lots of methane as will other organic matter.
The principle of producing methane gas from organic matter is a good one and should be pursued more vigorously but this is not going to be viable as well as being cruel.
19 CabezaDura2 (#) Apr 22nd, 2014 - 12:03 pm Report abuse

Well to be fair the whole production process does involve a lot of aspects that would be considered cruel. Feed lots and intensive corral almost has a the animals liver destroyed after been in permanent acidosis.
Dairy cows that are producing record amounts of milk nowdays are put through tremendous pain.

I've seen a fair plenty of unnecessary cruelty inflicted on beef cattle on pasture systems that are common in Argentina, calves lazooed from horseback and dragged for a field.

Belive you me a lot of animal produce that you see on your supermarket involves a fair degree of cruelty as it is.
20 ChrisR (#) Apr 22nd, 2014 - 09:51 pm Report abuse
@ 19 CabezaDura2
“Belive you me a lot of animal produce that you see on your supermarket involves a fair degree of cruelty as it is.”

I am sure you are correct in everything that you say, given there is no effective control of animal cruelty like there is in the developed world, BUT that is no excuse to encourage it.
21 CabezaDura2 (#) Apr 23rd, 2014 - 01:43 pm Report abuse
I agree, but what Im saying as agriculture and farming turns more industrial like some aspects like these are inevitable in order to cut costs and increase production and efficency. Even in the developed world you cant escape this norm.

Maybe consumers have a choice to buy from local and small family farmers like it happens in small towns in Europe Australian and NZ but then most people always prefer the cheapest.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!