Cow power

Collecting cow farts in a backpack. No this article is not from the Onion. Researchers propose to fit a backpack on cow and insert a tube into its, … <ahem>, ¬†“digestive tract.”

After the incredulity and laughter, we had two thoughts: (1) What will PETA do when it hears about this? and (2) Is it cost effective? We will have to wait on the answer to (1). But we can get some idea about (2).

A cow produces 300 liters of methane per day. According to this government site, the residential price for natural gas on 14 Feb 2014 was $9.76 per 1,000 cubic feet. Finally, there are approximately 28.3 liters per cubic foot.

300 liters / day X 1 cubic foot / 28.3 liters = 10.6 cubic feet / day

10.6 cubic feet / day X $10 / 1000 cubic feet = $0.10 / day

The gross return is one thin dime per cow per day: . Unfortunately, the cost of harvesting this valuable natural resource is much greater. No wonder “Pablo Sorondo, INTA’s press officer, says the project isn’t ongoing.”¬†