Originally Posted by NW-Bound
So, I did a bit of research, and cow manure in decomposition emits a lot of methane. The process is hastened by heating the manure in a "digester", which also allows the gas to be captured. Traditionally, this gas is burned to produce electricity and to help run the plant.
They expect to make up to 50 million pounds of plastic per year in a plant built next to a Californian dairy farm. Wow,
these cows are cow manure is a prolific methane producer, much more than I thought.
I've run across this process. There are several different technologies but anerobic digesters (sans oxygen) seem to be the rule. These digesters will take the mountains of cow puckie that's generated by a large scale dairy or feed lot. These dairies don't have Elsie out in a wonderful field of clover but confine the milk givers to compact areas. Feed lots have even smaller areas per steer. The digesters can also process the scraps from the slaughtering process.
I've not ever worked on a project on these but did get involved in a technology review. These are only for large sites. The small operations can't use the digesters economically. Some processes produce pipeline quality gas and others produce steam/electricity onsite.