Argentine scientists tap cow burps for natural gas
Buenos Aires, October 21, 2013
Argentine scientists have found a way to transform the gas created by the bovine digestive system into fuel, an innovation that could curb greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Using a system of valves and pumps, the experimental technique developed by Argentina's National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) channels the digestive gases from bovine stomach cavities through a tube and into a tank.
The gases - which otherwise are commonly known as burps, or "eruptos" in Spanish - are then processed to separate methane from other gases such as carbon dioxide.
Methane is the main component of natural gas, used to fuel everything from cars to power plants.
"Once you get it compressed, it's the same as having natural gas," said Guillermo Berra, head of INTA's animal physiology group.
"As an energy source it is not very practical at the moment, but if you look ahead to 2050, when fossil fuel reserves are going to be in trouble, it is an alternative," he told Reuters.
Each head of cattle emits between 250 and 300 litres of pure methane a day, enough energy to keep a refrigerator running for 24 hours.
Argentina is one of the world's top beef exporters, with around 51 million heads of cattle. Gases emitted from those animals account for 30 per cent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions, according to INTA, with methane having 23 times the global warming effect as carbon dioxide.
"This is also a way to mitigate that," Berra said. - Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search
- Confusion as search for lost jet spreads
- Military denies lost plane's flight to Malacca
- Investors monitoring Pimco after internal strife
- N Korea tanker ‘leaves Libya rebel port carrying oil’
- Malaysia plane incident not terror related: Interpol
- Crimea closes air space to commercial flights
- Missing Malaysian plane last seen At Malacca Strait
- Stolen passport holder on missing plane is Iranian
- China deploys 10 satellites to search for Malaysia jet
- Libya says halts tanker outside port; rebels deny it
- Libya orders military force to 'liberate' ports
- Big bananas: Chiquita, Fyffes merge
- Radar sweeps, dozens of aircraft, but no sign of plane
- N Korea tanker loads oil at Libya rebel port
- Gold drops as US growth optimism weighs
- Merkel raps Putin; Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- World 'at sea' over missing Malaysian jetliner
- Passports requiring probe were on Malaysia flight
- 40 killed in Yemen as Houthi fighters near capital
- Vietnam finds object in sea; search on
- $5bn poll spend to boost India economy
- Libya authorises use of force against Korean tanker
- Ukraine PM says he will go to US to discuss crisis
- Syrian journalist killed covering fighting
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing
- No sign of missing plane; Malaysia probes false passports
- Two Europeans not on board 'missing' Malaysian jet
- China draws red line on North Korea