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Bovine byproducts

(article, Kim Carlson)

We humans get quite a lengthy list of goods from cows: dairy products, meat, leather, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, and more. But electricity? 

At the Straus Family Creamery in California, they're capturing methane from their cows' manure in a methane digester and turning it into electricity — enough electricity to power the dairy, plus some. 

Not only does this save the facility money, but it reduces greenhouse-gas emissions at the same time. According to Straus, a 2003 report from the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that agricultural sources — primarily animal waste — account for approximately three percent of greenhouse-gas emissions. 

So turning cattle waste into electric power — the process of which eliminates those emissions — makes good sense all around.

There's a short explanation of how Straus's converter works on the dairy's website. Or you can watch an explanation here:

[%youTubeMovie k_GTH5OR7os]

Editor's note: Win a year's worth of ice cream from the Straus Family Creamery. Play our [/read/alerts/Ice+Cream+and+Trivia "Foodie Fight game" newpage=true] until May 7.