The Power of Cow Dung
By Dylan Gansen
Green energy can sometimes stink...in a good way. Cow manure has been used as a popular fertilizer by farmers spanning many centuries, but far more recently it has been used as an alternative source of energy. The natural gases contained in the manure itself are what is used to create this energy. Methane is the main ingredient of the biogas produced, and it generally has caused issues for our planet, ranging from smelling foul to contributing to global warming. With the prevalence of cattle in countries many countries spanning the globe, being able to find as many uses for their waste as possible is extremely beneficial.
The Indian government is putting programs in place this year that will tap into the country’s enormous cattle industry by educating farmers from villages on how they can prepare the manure produced by their cattle so that it can be sold to biogas plants. In 2012, the country saw that there was a 25% poverty rate in its rural areas. Not only would this be beneficial as a green source of energy, but it could help the impoverished farmers from those rural areas.