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How to Fight Climate Change with Cow Dung

Cow manure contains methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Farmers who collect and burn methane keep it out of the atmosphere while generating clean electricity.


  • Step 1: Collect the poop Collect the cow poop. Large confinement dairies and feedlots have the most concentrated manure piles.
  • Step 2: Put the poop in a tank With a special scraper, put the fresh poop down a drain leading to a digester tank.
  • Step 3: Make poop soup Heat the poop to about 98 degrees.
  • Step 4: Let it stew Let the manure’s natural juices digest the organic matter for one to three weeks.
  • Step 5: Separate gas from solids Use a machine to separate the methane gas from the liquids and solids in the tank.
  • Step 6: Burn the gas Burn the methane in a generator, creating clean electricity for use on the farm. Or sell it to the electric company.
  • TIP: As carbon markets grow, selling carbon credits will be a great way to earn extra cash for clean energy.
  • Step 7: Sell fiber as mulch The leftover fiber from the digesting process does not smell! It can be dried out and used or sold as mulch.
  • Step 8: Recycle the water The remaining liquid is full of nutrients; water can be separated out and recycled. The rest can be spread on fields or sold as fertilizer.
  • FACT: In 2007, U.S. farms made 275 million kilowatt-hours of electricity from cow poop, enough to power more than 25,000 households.

You Will Need

  • Cows
  • A poop scraper
  • An anaerobic digesting tank
  • A gas-fired generator

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