Feeds

US dairyman inaugurates bovine biogas plant

Methane will power 1,200 homes a day

Security for virtualized datacentres

A California dairyman yesterday inaugurated his very own methane-producing plant - an industrial-scale facility which can produce enough natural gas to power 1,200 homes a day.

David Albers, of Riverdale, is the brains behind the Vintage Dairy Biogas Project which processes the output of his 5,000 head of cattle, Reuters reports. The waste is first flushed into a large octagonal pit and the liquified contents then transferred into a covered "lagoon" via filters which remove solids for recycling into cattle bedding.

This "digester" tank - 10 metres deep and "the size of nearly five football fields"* - is lined with plastic to prevent leakage into the ground, and capped with a high density polyethylene cover weighted with concrete. Gas collects under the cover, and is piped to a scrubber plant which removes hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide to produce a 99 per cent pure methane.

BioEnergy Solutions, the Albers-led company which funded and built the facility at an unspecified cost running into "millions of dollars", supplies the gas to power utility PG&E Corp which, along with other utilities, has been ordered by California regulators to "make renewable energy at least 20 per cent of their electricity supplies by 2010".

The methane is pumped directly into PG&E Corp's pipeline, which carries it to a Northern California power plant.

Albers said: "When most people see a pile of manure, they see a pile of manure. We saw it as an opportunity for farmers, for utilities, and for California."

PG&E also sees a bright future in bovine biogas, and has partnered with another company, Microgy, to establish plants at three further California dairies. Roy Kuga, the company's vice president of energy supply, said: "With nearly 2 million dairy cows in California, the potential is great."

There is, however, one practical limitation to cattle-driven biogas plants. PG&E officials noted that not every dairy can participate simply because they are "not located close enough to the necessary gas transmission lines". ®

Bootnote

*Yes, we know. What's that in nanoWales, eh?

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.