Cow Manure Is Focus of Biofuel Research
The race to create a better, less controversial biofuel has spawned plenty of research into a variety of potential new sources – including switchgrass, cornstalks and algae.
One goal behind the next generation of ethanol fuel is to end the debate over whether crops that could be used for food or animal feed are being converted into fuel. It’s a debate that’s dogged traditional ethanol, made from corn.
A team of Wisconsin researchers say they may have found an abundant and eminently Dairyland ingredient for ethanol – cow manure from the state’s dairy farms.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a coalition of state firms have been awarded $7 million for bioenergy research that would use a manure byproduct to produce ethanol at a dairy farm in Manitowoc County.
The funding was awarded by the U.S. Energy and Agriculture departments through their joint biomass research-and-development initiative.
…The key is to break down manure into different fibers. One type would be used for bedding, another for fertilizer pellets, and yet another for biofuels.
… The project aims to help produce renewable energy while also helping farmers deal with the phosphorus pollution challenge created by manure management. READ MORE