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Dairy powers milk lorries with cow manure

by David Masters
March 2, 2009
Transport Energy

A dairy in California has converted two of its milk delivery lorries to run on biomethane produced from cow manure.

Hilarides’ Dairy plans to use the manure from its 10,000 cows to produce 226,000 cubic feet of biomethane every day.

That’s enough to reduce its daily diesel consumption by nearly 3,000 litres.

Rob Hilarides, dairy owner, said: “For us it made sense to invest in this technology.

“Now we can utilize the dairy’s potential to power our trucks in addition to generating electricity for our operations.”

He added that producing biomethane protects the dairy from volatile energy prices.

The biomethane project was funded by a $600,000 grant from California’s Air Fuel Incentive Programme.

To produce biomethane, manure is flushed into holding tanks where it is broken down by bacteria.

The resulting methane is pumped into a refinery where impurities are removed, and it is pressurised for use in vehicles.

Burning biomethane releases less carbon than fossil fuels.

It also reduces the amount of methane released into the atmosphere from manure.

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