Day By Day

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Cow Dung -- The Latest Alternative to Oil

ABC reports:

May 29, 2006 — The secret to cheaper gas could lie in cow dung.

The Vehicle Research Institute of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., has been turning cow manure into fuel that can power a natural-gas car. Researchers are not shoveling manure straight into the gas tank but pumping the methane — a gas created by the manure — into the car.

They have some hard-working cows at a dairy farm in Lyndon, Wash., to thank for this experiment, which could mean cheaper car fuel for many people.

Read it here.

Urban historians often make the point that concerns about urban pollution are nothing new. Think, for instance, of the amount of dung desposited by horses and other creatures on the streets of American cities before the advent of internal combustion engines. There actually was a class of workers -- scavengers -- who had responsibility for cleaning manure off the streets and transporting it to fields on the edge of town from whence it would be auctioned off to farmers.

Thanks to modern technology we may now be able to return to those fetid days of yore....

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