China turning poop into power

With all the bad press that China gets in relation to the environment, even though a sizable chunk of the damage is simply the result of us outsourcing our consumption demands , it’s always nice to report on positive things happening over there.

A cow emits huge quantities of methane – around 160 to 240 pounds of the stuff over its lifespan and China’s cow population is rapidly increasing. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 62 – that’s 62 times the heat trapping capacity of carbon dioxide.

Late last month, the world’s biggest cow-poop methane power plant commenced operation China’s Inner Mongolia region. This is no small lip-service project. The plant will be able to crank out an incredible 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the national power grid annually.

The plant processes the poop, urine and waste water from around 10,000 cows at a single farm which results in the production of 12,000 cubic meters of methane and generates 30,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity daily.

Additionally, the heat produced from the power generation will be used to heat the farm and water will be recycled for irrigation purposes. The facility also produces 200,000 tons of organic fertilizers a year. You can read more about it here.

This isn’t by any means China’s only contribution to bringing alternate energy sources into play. They also have very healthy wind energy programs and big plans for solar power – and where do you think we get a lot of our cheap alternate energy equipment from? China.

All I am saying – is give China a chance :) (apologies to John Lennon).