Biogas out of … can’t say
Here’s an example from the New York Times of turning doo-doo into gold:
At the electricity-from-manure project here in Sterksel [Netherlands], the refuse from thousands of pigs is combined with local waste materials (outdated carrot juice and crumbs from a cookie factory), and pumped into warmed tanks called digesters. There, resident bacteria release the natural gas within, which is burned to generate heat and electricity.
The farm uses 25 percent of the electricity, and the rest is sold to a local power provider. The leftover mineral slurry is an ideal fertilizer that reduces the use of chemical fertilizers, whose production releases a heavy dose of carbon dioxide.
For this farm the scheme has provided a substantial payback: By reducing its emissions, it has been able to sell carbon credits on European markets. It makes money by selling electricity. It gets free fertilizer.
What I don’t quite understand is why, if farmers get all of these benefits, they are still fretting that this process will raise the price of their meat products.
The article also talks about how meat consumption will double by 2050 (Earth to humans: yowch!), and how emissions from livestock (up to 18 percent of total global emissions) should be included in carbon trading schemes.