These Backpacks For Cows Collect Their Fart Gas And Store It For Energy

Awesome! Also, a reason to keep eating beef. 🙂

Cows produce up to 25% of methane emissions, and methane is a particularly potent greenhouse gas. It’s no joke, then, to talk about limiting emissions from cow farts. We’ve written before about new breeding techniques and feeds, which could help cows better digest their food so they produce less gas. Now comes an idea for collecting up the gas, and making energy from it.

Well, sort of. The project from Argentina’s National Institute of Agricultural Technology is only a proof-of-concept at this stage. But it is intriguing. Researchers put plastic backpacks on cows, then inserted tubes into their rumens (their biggest digestive tract). They extracted the methane–about 300 liters a day. That’s enough to run a car, or a fridge for 24 hours.