Farts as Fuel – Bus Powered by Flatulence Visits Louisiana
Louisiana residents who hold their noses while driving behind a garbage truck may soon find themselves in another precarious predicament as far as their olfactory senses go. Believe it or not, there is technology available that would allow motorists to power their vehicles using "natural gas". And, by "natural gas" I don't mean the stuff they drill for in the Gulf of Mexico. I am speaking of flatulence or more commonly known as farts.
First things first, let's clear the air. A fart-powered vehicle would not put off any off-putting exhaust that would make other motorists or pedestrians suddenly have the urge to "light a match". The technology actually uses methane harnessed from the flatulence of cows to power vehicles. One of those vehicles was in Louisiana yesterday as part of an educational experience in DeRidder.
Ingevity, a chemical company based out of North Charleston South Carolina brought the Cowfart Bus to DeRidder, Louisiana as part of Earth Day and Earth Week festivities. The company's social media pages say the company "provides specialty chemicals, high-performance carbon materials, and engineered polymers that purify, protect, and enhance the world around us".
Ingevity also promotes STEM education in schools across the nation too. One of their literal vehicles for doing this is The Cow Fart Bus. I know you're wondering how it works.
Cow farts are often mentioned in the debate over climate change and global warming. Experts consider methane, a key ingredient in flatulence to be one of the most potent greenhouse gasses on the planet.
It's estimated that one cow can create up to 200 kilograms of methane per year. If we do the math, based on the most recent census from the USDA there are currently 775,000 head of cattle in Louisiana. That works out to 155 million kilograms of methane produced in Louisiana alone.
You don't have to be a scientist to figure out that we could be getting a lot of horsepower from cow power if you know what I mean. The way the process works is the waste is harvested from the cows, it's processed in a device known as a "digester". This device captures the biogas and is then refined for use in various vehicles and processes.
The folks at Ingevity refer to cow farts as RNG or Renewable Natural Gas and based on information provided by the company RNG is the only alternative fuel that can avoid more emissions than it generates as far as its carbon footprint goes.
Will cow farts be the energy of America in the future? I guess it could and if it does become a flatulent force to be reckoned with Louisiana would be in pretty good shape to continue its place as an energy leader since we already have so many cows and politicians that are familiar with the other by-product that comes with cow farts.
But I have to admit it would be interesting to see how Washington DC could screw up the cow fart energy industry the way they mess with our current oil and gas industries. Who knows maybe cow farts are something that Washington can get behind, just not too close behind.
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