Venting from Farms

Natural gas venting from farming

There are various efforts ongoing to collect and process cow manure and process it via digesters to produce bio-gas (  While admirable, this does not address the fact that bovine each emit 200-1000 liters of gas every day from burps and flatulence.  This may not be a lot per cow, but assuming an average of 500 liters per cow per day, it adds up to almost 7.5 trillion cubic feet of gas (3.6 trillion cubic feet of methane) per year from 1.4 billion cows world-wide.

While the concept of collecting cow flatulence may seem excessive, particularly as seen in  Figure 6 below, nations that depend on cattle-related industries are hard-pressed to find solutions because methane is many times worse (estimated at between 30-70 times depending on source) for the environment then CO2.

The image below is from a study conducted by the government of Argentina to collect cow flatulence via back-packs.  While intriguing, this concept may be impractical on an individual cow basis in the industrialized world where labor costs are high.

Figure 6 - Cow Flatulence Back-Pack

The idea of collecting the bovine off-gas though is intriguing and may deserve consideration, particularly if the cattle are tightly consolidated.

Figure 7a - Dairy Feed Lot

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