From Poop to Power
Cow Manure Is No Longer Just Fertilizer, But Also Electricity
by Amanda Welch, age 8
Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, Vermont can now make electricity from cow manure.
One cow can create an incredible 30 gallons (114 liters) of cow manure.
Farmers spread some of the stinky stuff on their fields for fertilizer. Cow manure can also be turned into electricity through a specific process.
A scooper pushes the manure into a big 600-gallon (2268 liter) concrete tank that’s like a big swimming pool. The tank is called a digester because bacteria inside the tank breaks down just like it does in a cow’s stomach.
Methane gas, which is found in manure, warms the earth, so it is an environmental concern. The digester traps the gas and keeps it from going into the atmosphere.
The leftover manure in the digester, which contains no methane, gets pushed out to make room for the next batch. Then another machine squishes the leftovers to make fertilizer.
Cow manure does lots of different things. It can make fertilizer and electricity. In the future it could be a great power source for our environment.