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Web Date: July 21, 2011

Manure Could Provide U.S. Power

Energy Policy: Clean power from livestock waste would become economical with carbon tax
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: anaerobic digester, alternative energy, greenhouse gases, climate change, energy policy

Taxing greenhouse gas emissions would allow manure to compete economically with fossil fuels and to produce 5.5% of U.S. electricity needs by 2050, according to a new analysis (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es104227y).

Today, a tiny fraction of the manure from the nation’s 2.2 million cattle, pigs, and chickens is fed into power plants called anaerobic digesters. Bacteria in the digesters break down the waste to produce methane, which the plants burn to generate . . .

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