Turning cow dung into natural gas could benefit both farmers and the environment

Photo by Henrik Hjortshøj/Unsplash

Waste products have been and will always be part of every living organism’s daily life. Livestock producers will always be dealing with ways to efficiently dispose of organic waste. However, for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) coalition founder Johannes Escudero, disposal facilities should not be the only destination for livestock waste. 

Escudero shared that producing natural gas from cow manure can help reduce the livestock industry’s greenhouse gas emissions and turn an environmental liability into an asset. He added that in the past 10 years, the RNG industry in North America underwent rapid growth and now has 268 operating facilities across the continent. They have also identified 43,000 more sites for possible methane capture in the coming years. 

Many of the agricultural and livestock sites on the continent already generate enough volumes of waste for natural gas production. Aside from lessening the livestock industry’s burden on waste management, this could also be an additional revenue source for farmers.

Vanguard Renewables co-founder Kevin Chase shared that processing cow manure for natural gas also produces another useful by-product called digestate, which contains nutrients that farmers can use as fertilizer. 

As the agriculture industry continues to look for ways to expand and satisfy the needs of the growing population, a partnership with the RNG industry can help lessen its burden from the growing amount of organic waste it is generating.


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