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24

Cow Gas Could Threaten Future LNG Demand

The UK?s first cowpat fired power station will begin producing electricity before the end of the month, bringing a new meaning to the concept of wind power. The plant in Holsworthy, Devon, will use 146,000 tonnes of liquid slurry a year.

The UK?s first cowpat fired power station will begin producing electricity before the end of the month, bringing a new meaning to the concept of wind power.

The plant in Holsworthy, Devon, will use 146,000 tonnes of liquid slurry a year. As well as generating an estimated 1.4 megawatts for the National Grid, the plant will provide hot water to heat local public buildings.

Twenty seven farmers have signed up to supply four hundred and fifty tonnes of liquid slurry a day. It will be heated to encourage gas producing bacteria and the residue returned to the farmers as concentrated organic fertiliser.

The Biogas plant took its first delivery last week and managers are awaiting a licence from the Environment Agency before they can begin production in earnest. The company hopes to establish a hundred plants across England.

The Holsworthy Biogas project has been set up with a three and a half million pound ($5m) grant from the EU matched by a similar amount from the German company Farmatic, which already runs dung fired power stations in Germany and Denmark. The scheme, known as a centralised anaerobic digestion plant, will run on a mixture of cattle, pig and poultry manure and food processing waste.
The average dairy cow produces fifty six litres of manure a day.

The mixture is pasteurised at 70C for an hour, then fed into a digester and held at 35C for twenty days. Anaerobic bacteria digest the mixture, producing methane which is used to drive the generators.

These are water cooled and produce enough hot water to heat not only the plant but also to supply the heating to the town?s buildings. Managers plan eventually to offer the hot water to private residences as well as public buildings.

Graham Johnson, the plant manager, said: ?We are using the town as a giant radiator. The water will be pumped down a pipeline in the town and come back as cold water. That will be the end of this year, early next. First, we will be producing electricity.?

Officials say that the de gassed slurry removed after the process is an even better fertiliser for farmers than the orginal manure. Having been pasteurised, any pathogens, nematodes and weed seeds in the cow slurry have been destroyed. The liquid biofertiliser left from the process contains more plant nutrients and is 100 percent organic.

As the methane has been driven off the smell is reduced by ninety percent. Being liquid, the biofertiliser is readily absorbed, reducing the risk of pollution and run off.

The average cow burps two hundred and eighty litres of methane a day.

Author: Alexander Groom

Source : Neftegaz.ru