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Researchers Make Gasoline From Cow Dung 201

Posted by Zonk
from the something-stinks-about-this dept.
McDrewbie writes "Yahoo! News has an article about Japanese researchers extracting a small amount of gasoline from 3.5oz of cow dung. The process uses application of high heat and pressure. Hopefully, when more information is released, we can find out how much energy it takes to produce this gasoline and how energy efficient the process is."
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Researchers Make Gasoline From Cow Dung

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  • Bullshit! (Score:4, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:28AM (#14849182) Homepage Journal
    Its amazing what scientists can create.
    I wonder if we could just connect this directly up to the chairs in SCO's offices and solve the worlds energy problems!
    • Not there yet. The GOP example just copped 8 1/3 years:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic le/2006/03/03/AR2006030300290.html [washingtonpost.com]
      • The average American soccer mom will need a whole herd of cows in constant "production" to pick the kids up from school. Assuming we can find enough grass to feed them, this much methane will cause the oceans to rice in less than a decade.

        Seriously. Shouldn't we be looking for something more sensible than this?

        eg. Brazil runs most of its cars on sugar cane extract - a carbon-neutral solution.

        Then again, Brazil isn't run by millionaires who are more interested in increasing their millions than actually

        • by menkhaura (103150) <espinafre@gmail.com> on Saturday March 04, 2006 @12:24PM (#14850080) Homepage
          I'm Brazilian, living in Brazil. Two points:

          Brazil runs most of its cars on sugar cane extract

          This "extract" is ethanol, exactly the same substance that makes you go high on booze. It can be produced from almost anything that produces sugar, not only sugar cane.
          Besides, most cars down here are run on good old petroleum extract, because alcohol production is somewhat uncertain. However, our gas has 20% alcohol, and every car here has to drink that.

          Then again, Brazil isn't run by millionaires who are more interested in increasing their millions than actually imporoving things.

          How so very wrong... Granted, we are not quite a Banana Republic, but we are Latin America, and our politicians are not distinguished by putting the People's interests ahead of their own.

          Cheers.
        • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @01:33PM (#14850349) Homepage Journal
          Won't all the methane from the cows be worse?
          When Europeans firs came to this continent, there were bison all over the place. They're much bigger than the average cow, and fart, belch, and shit a lot more, too.

          There was never a problem with global warming, pollution, or any of this stuff until we fell in love with cars. Back in the early days of America, people got around by horse. Horses fart and shit all the time, even when you're not using them to go anywhere. Why didn't we have global warming in 1885?

          The reason is, because the "farms are bad because cows fart methane which is causing global warming" is propaganda started by either animal rights groups (for obvious reasons), or the government (so we don't have to give up oil). The fact that this propaganda happens to be beneficial to both groups is probably the only reason it's still around. They're both pushing it, for apparently completely independent reasons, so people think it must be true.
          • It's because there were far fewer cows before. Also, cows are only a small part of the whole global warming picture, with deforestation (often to feed those cows) and fossil fuel consumption being the number 2 and 1 sources of global warming.

            Also, it should be painfully obvious that refining the grain directly into alcohol will be more efficient than feeding to an animal, which will use much of the energy internally.
          • Why didn't we have global warming in 1885?
            My grandmother was born in 1885, in South Dakota.
            She told me her family had to pack up and go back east, it was just too cold there. I think they had a really cold winter that killed most of the herds of cattle in the central USA around that time.
            That's not the reason, of course, for the cows/methane connection then, but simply put, it was one of those times when cold outbreaks were common, and big ones at that, apparently.
            Our love of the automobile is just par
          • The reason cows, bison, or any other ruminants have no effect on global warming is because ruminants eat grass. Therefore all the carbon released by their digestive process came from plants which captured the carbon from the atmosphere.

            A cow or horse could emit 10 times the carbon that a car does (I'm not saying it does) and it wouldn't matter. The reason fossil fuels cause greenhouse problems is because we're taking millions upon millions of years of stored carbon and releasing it in the matter of a couple
          • There was never a problem with global warming, pollution, or any of this stuff until we fell in love with cars. Why didn't we have global warming in 1885?

            In 1885 the Industrial Revolution was a century old and fossil fueled. Pollution not a problem? This is the world of Mark Twain and Sherlock Holmes. Gaslit. Coal-fired.

            Back in the early days of America, people got around by horse

            Mostly they didn't get around at all.

            The practical limit was twenty-five miles a day. Horses were and would remain an uppe

          • "Why didn't we have global warming in 1885?"

            Probably because we were just leaving a "Little Ice Age" (1300-1800AD). http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/occi/currenttopics/ abruptclimate_15misconceptions.html [whoi.edu]

            One problem that I have about "global warming" is the fact that we only have historical temperature records since around 1860. This is about 60 years after the end of the "Little Ice Age". So for 500 years we were in a "Little Ice Age" and now the last 200 years has temperatures of the Earth warming.
        • this much methane will cause the oceans to rice in less than a decade.

          You mean like Japan?? ;)

          All kidding/nonsensical bullshit aside, the oceans wouldn't (shouldn't) rise. The ice already displaces the weight, so the ocean levels should remain constant. I would not be surprised that perhaps the tide levels would rise significantly due to there being more liquid H2O for the moon's gravity to affect, as a second-thought scenario...
          • The ice already displaces the weight, so the ocean levels should remain constant

            Ignoring the fact that this is not true due to salinity, you do realise that much of the Antarctic ice cap is currently on land, don't you? That really huge continent known as Antarctica is covered in ice, which is slowly melting. As it melts, the water moves from the land to the sea, which causes the sea level to rise.

        • The average American soccer mom will need a whole herd of cows in constant "production" to pick the kids up from school.

          Well, considering how many Big Macs American soccer moms and their offspring will consume over their lifetimes, I'm guessing that there are already enough "constantly producing" cows being raised to meet that demand. It only makes sense to try to capture unused energy from the very large amount of waste products produced to fill the demand for beef.

          Assuming we can find enough grass to fee
    • by NoData (9132) <_NoData_.yahoo@com> on Saturday March 04, 2006 @12:15PM (#14850045)
      Its amazing what scientists can create.

      Oh the ass dump to gas pump tech is nothin. Did you RTFA?! There was far more disturbing technology at the end. Check this out, clart :

      In a separate experiment revealing another unusual business potential for cow dung, another group of researchers has successfully extracted an aromatic ingredient of vanilla from cattle dung, said Miki Tsuruta, a Sekisui Chemical Co. spokeswoman. The extracted ingredient, vanillin, can be used as fragrance in shampoo and candles, she said.

      Wow. Brings a whole new meaning to "tastes like shit."

    • It might solve the world's energy problems, but all our cars will run like shit.

      Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all week!

    •   I wonder if we could just connect this directly up to the chairs in SCO's offices and solve the worlds energy problems!

      Better yet, we could use the cow shit directly, as padding in the chairs that are sold to SCO...

  • by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:28AM (#14849184) Journal
    So new we have an active refienery in the US.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerizat ion [wikipedia.org]

    At least Japan knows how to PR the tech - you never hear about it here - which is just sad.
    • by admactanium (670209) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:48AM (#14849221) Homepage
      So new we have an active refienery in the US.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerizat [wikipedia.org] ion

      At least Japan knows how to PR the tech - you never hear about it here - which is just sad.

      actually there was a story (maybe two) about thermal depolymerization on slashdot years ago. that's where i first read about the technology. it was prompted by an article in discover magazine [discover.com] about their first plant in carthage, MO. it's a pretty good article and i'm surprised we haven't heard more about how the carthage plant has been doing. all i've been able to find about it recently is that they had to do some modifications to the exhaust system because the smell was bothering the residents too much (which is probably quite a feat in a place that produces livestock).

      i actually thought the increase in oil prices would probably help this technology along. the only thing anyone has questioned about the process is the cost efficiency of making oil from thermal depolymerization versus the cost of just buying it from opec countries and/or successfully mining it from the oil shale in canada. i think the depolymerization method obviously has a lot more positives in its favor.

      i also read that the livestock manufacturers, now understanding that their waste was actually useful and profitable for someone, had decided to charge for their waste product rather than just give it away, which was at least somewhat assumed by the cost analysis of depolymerization to begin with. even though it made sense at the time to assume that rather than paying for people to remove biological waste, they would rather have someone do it for free or even pay them for it, you can never overestimate the greed of corporations. i sure hope the technology continues to develop until it becomes more cost efficient. even if it can only reduce our needs for oil a small percentage, that would be a significant difference in our reliance on opec.

      • i actually thought the increase in oil prices would probably help this technology along. the only thing anyone has questioned about the process is the cost efficiency of making oil from thermal depolymerization versus the cost of just buying it from opec countries and/or successfully mining it from the oil shale in canada. i think the depolymerization method obviously has a lot more positives in its favor.

        Unless you can make it operate without most (or any) external energy sources, it has no positives, rea

        • The turkey waste also provides the needed energy once they get the processs started. So it takes little external energy.
      • Looks like you need a new keyboard - your shift key appears to be broken...
      • by therblig (543426) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @08:47AM (#14849412)
        I never thought I would see my hometown mentioned on Slashdot! The Carthage, MO plant did have an awful odor that made people sick. A Kansas City alternative newspaper wrote an interesting article on that smell [pitch.com]. Later, the plant was actually made to shut down until they dealt with the smell. I haven't been back yet, but I have been told that the smell is pretty much gone, now.

        Befor this, Carthage never had an issue with a bad smell. The parent post is a little off - it's not a livestock town. It is a big poultry town, and if you got a Butterball turkey, it may have gone through Carthage. However, odor was never a big problem from the poultry plants until they took the turkey remains and tried to turn them into petrolium.

      • Didn't Dean Kamen invent this already as well?
      • Not quite (Score:5, Informative)

        by Andy Dodd (701) <[atd7] [at] [cornell.edu]> on Saturday March 04, 2006 @11:03AM (#14849828) Homepage
        What happened is that in doing the cost/benefit analysis of the TDP plant for turkey offal, the analysts were counting on pending U.S. legislation that would ban the use of animal waste as animal feed. (Similar to laws that have been enacted in nearly every other country in order to combat mad cow disease.)

        In the end, the law died out (a Bad Thing for U.S. meat consumers - agricultural industry money won out over concerns for public health.), and as a result what was originally going to become biological waste potentially classified as a biohazard which companies would have to PAY to dispose of, the status quo of being able to use animal leftovers as feed for other animals remained. The new oil plant isn't what made people decide to charge for their animal waste, they were ALREADY doing it.

        In short, an increase in demand didn't cause the cost effectiveness of the TDP plant in Carthage to fail, but lack of an expected decrease in demand did.
  • So not only do they cause mass amounts of methane gas pollution, but now they make gasoline too! Yeehaw!
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:29AM (#14849186)
    But the cows kept getting really sick from all the gasoline we were feeding them.
  • by merikari (205531) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:30AM (#14849187) Homepage
    Let's see the oil companies trying to shus this pile of steaming cow dung.

    That didn't come out right.

  • by Vengeance (46019) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:31AM (#14849188)
    'Cause with all the BS they're spewing, I think we've solved the world's energy problems.
  • You what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I bet they put more energy in than they got out.
  • Not efficient yet (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:34AM (#14849198)
    Hopefully, when more information is released, we can find out how much energy it takes to produce this gasoline and how energy efficient the process is.
    TFA is very clear that the process is not efficient at this stage. The hope, apparently, is that the process might be improved over a five year timeframe to be commercially viable. I am skeptical even of that given the temperature and pressure numbers given.
    • by Mr. Roadkill (731328) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @07:57AM (#14849330)
      Although the process is not particularly efficient at present, it could be of significant benefit anyway.

      How?

      Well, although we probably have really nifty technologies now and coming up for producing energy from solar, geothermal, tidal, wind, hydro, ocean thermal gradients and even new safer nuclear reactors, we don't really have any effective way of making that energy portable, easily storable or able to be distributed through existing infrastructure. If we can get really cheap and really clean electricity, and use that to produce oil products from purpose-grown organic matter (like algae ponds) and/or organic waste (raw sewage, agricultural waste, cannery waste etc) we might be on a winner. Provided we don't start grinding up coal to make crude oil this way, the whole process should be carbon-neutral and a convenient way of storing energy in a portable liquid form that we already know how to store, ship and use.

    • One thing to note about efficiency... some of the alternative energy sources that have gained popularity don't actually produce energy yet. They are so inefficient, that it takes more energy to put them in place and utilize them than you ever get out of the system.
  • So what? (Score:3, Funny)

    by pleumann (219030) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:39AM (#14849206)
    Slashdot makes articles from cow dung all the time.
  • You have got to be shitting me.... Does this mean we will be getting our gasoline from Farmer John now? How will this effect the prices of fertilizer (& steak)? Will your friends "piece of crap" run on crap? Will "smokin deh shit" now mean driving your car?
  • holy shit (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    this sounds quite good, but there was a better one in Germany:
    Some months ago (last september) one media misunderstood an invention of a german engineer who found a way to recycle certain sorts of refuse to diesel and claimed (BILD claimed, not the engineer...), he would do so with dead cats.

    The original "news" seems no longer to be available, but bildblog, a blog specialized in doing meta-news on that particular media (no way to call it "newspaper", it's only just crap...) featured an article on that one:

    h [bildblog.de]
    • If I recall, the guy said he could do the process with any biological material he wanted, even dead cats, and people got all fired up saying that he had built a kitty powered engine.
  • Ironically Bush and all other politicians have solved our energy problems. They have enough bullshit to last us a 1000 years!
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:51AM (#14849223)
    Even worse, actually. If we tried to use it instead of normal oil, we'd have to cover the entire earth, actually more land, with cattle.

    Finding alternative sources for fuel is only one part of the equation. We most of all need ways to reduce our consumption. There is no way to keep production at the level we currently have, so we either have a plan how to use less oil (not only as gas, but think of all the plastic) or we'll be facing VERY expensive oil products soon.
    • It is possible to make a number of the products currently made with oil-derived plastics with other things. Cellophane, bakelite, plastics derived from vegetable oils, coal. Alternatively metal, wood, or paper can be used for some products for which plastics are used now. All these need to be looked at in terms of cost-benefit analyses: there is no point in using wood if it takes a huge amount of energy to machine it to replace a plastic part. Design also plays a part, too, in that differences in design ma
    • "We most of all need ways to reduce our consumption."

      I've often heard that stated.

      Unfortunately, since energy resources bestow both military and economic advantages to nation states, it is hard to see how consumption cn be reduced in a competitive global environment.
      • Unfortunately, since energy resources bestow both military and economic advantages to nation states, it is hard to see how consumption cn be reduced in a competitive global environment.

        Efficiency, of course.

        Consider the U.S. military. It relies to a great extent on oil-derived fuels. The length of time a unit can operate independently is constrained by (a) how much fuel it has, and (b) how quickly it consumes it. Clearly, the more efficient its use of the fuel, the longer it can continue to operate witho
        • Clearly, the more efficient its use of the fuel, the longer it can continue to operate without needing more supplies.

          Or the faster it can travel, or the more equipment it can carry.

          The point is that the drive for military and economic superiority will tend to maximise the consumption of available resources.

      • it is hard to see how consumption cn be reduced in a competitive global environment.

        Well, in the 1970's, the US did manage to reduce the amount of energy used per person, in a very real way. The problem is that over time, these efficencies led to consumption increases because the prices (real dollars) stayed somewhat stable (due to abundance caused by the increase in efficency), while inflation/increased productivity increased the income of the average American. This led to the massive increase in the siz

        • Yeah, it's a real pain in the ass when people's quality of life goes up.

        • People say they want to use less energy, but they really, really want more stuff.

          That's probably true, and I'd like to know why this is. Is it "keeping up with the Jonses", a deep-seated feeling of inadequacy or a "I'd better get mine before someone else rips me off"-type mentality?

          Sometimes I think that the constant bigger, better, dammit attitude (not exclusive to Americans, by the way) is just a pissing contest encouraged by inter-species artificial competition.
      • People will not reduce consumption, the demographics are just too wrong for that. There is a necessity for a global cataclysm, a really bad air-borne desease that wipes out say 70% of the entire population. We can't rely on wars to do this, because to achieve the same numbers we have to go nuclear and what good is that for the environment?
    • by TheGhostOfDerrida (953992) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @08:09AM (#14849349)
      "If we tried to use it instead of normal oil, we'd have to cover the entire earth, actually more land, with cattle

      Yes, but one of the better side-effects of such large scale cattle farming would porterhouse at about forty cents a pound (U.S.)

      (by the way, I just made that price up; there wasn't any real calculation concerning real statistics and/or numbers of any sort involved. It was a joke. Porterhouse is fine cut of beef, and, as such, tends to be a little pricier. Using the logic of "More cattle = more beef = greater supply of porterhouse = lower price", I was able to pull a low number out of my ass. I hope you're all happy, I think I just killed any humor this joke may have had. But, because every time I make a joke on this site somebody feels the need to try to get deep about either the failings-of-man-as-a-whole or the-lies-that-science-is-made-from, I thought I'd try one last attempt at saving them the trouble. It's only a joke. It's only ever a joke. If you comment on a joke, it should either be a comment taking the joke further, or telling the comedian that they aren't funny. One should not respond to a joke on a forum such as this with a deep and mostly unrelated philosophic dialogue about two or three of the words used. That's bad forum ettiquete. Trespassers will be violated, violators will be shot, offer void in texas as I don't believe in texas, and please see official gamepiece for complete rules and restrictions that may apply in my/your/his or her area. If you would like to request the rules and restrictions in French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, or Serbo-Croatian, please send self addressed stamped envelope taped to the front of a postcard with a written request for aforementioned info to the address provided. Thanks for playing.)
      ~ken
      • Yes, but one of the better side-effects of such large scale cattle farming would porterhouse at about forty cents a pound (U.S.)

        Oh, I don't think it'd be that cheap. Porterhouse is fine cut of beef and, as such, tends to be a little pricier.
    • Are you going to account for increased population? Add to that more people are gaining modern conveniences - everything from cars to electric toasters and light bulbs. Combine the two and even though we may get more and more efficient devices, we are very unlikely to actually reduce energy consumption world-wide. We can slow the need for a short while, but we need and can have even better energy resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
    • That silly mis-representation pops up every time. It isn't true.

      "Technically you could supply all of the world's energy needs by covering 4% of the world's desert area with photo-voltaic panels," says Martin Green from the Advanced Silicon Photo-voltaics and Photonics research centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

      That's 4% of the deserts, not the entiry surface of the earth. If one would use thermal-, tidal- and windenergy as well the amount of land needed would be neglible.

    • No way man. All we need is to process all of the bullshit slung around by alternative energy folks into gasoline, and we're set.
  • by daemonenwind (178848) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:52AM (#14849225)
    Donald: Jake ain't lyin', though. We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline.
    Tom: But we'll never get that fat sound again, not without some more horns. We'll never get Mr. Fabulous.
    Jake: Where is he?
    Murph: Forget it. Mr Fabulous is the top Maitre D at the Chez Paul. He's pullin' down six bills a week.
    Steve: Yeah. And Matt Murphy went up and got himself married.
  • What is new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ozamosi (615254) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @06:59AM (#14849231) Homepage
    Could anyone care to tell me exactly what is new here?

    I live in Sweden. Our busses (all our busses, a few cars) doesn't run on fossil fuel - they run on human shit. If anybody would care to go and pick up all the cow dung around, I'm sure it could be used in the shit-to-fuel-factory as well.

    Up untill recently they did, however, use cows as fuel: they mixed the shit with animal fat from slaughter houses when they made the fuel.
    • Whoa. Busses that run on human shit, the bikini team, and that red, chewy fish candy. Sweden rules!
    • by ameline (771895)
      Wouldn't it be more efficient to run the vodka straight into the fuel tanks instead of through a bunch of swedes?

      (sorry for the flame bait :-)

      (BTW congrats on the gold in mens hocky -- your team deserved it -- they played magnificently)
    • Around 550 Swedish buses run on methane. CH4 is known as biogas when it's taken from "natural sources" such as manure (human or otherwise).

      We also have the same kind of buses for local traffic in Finnish cities; although I'm not sure how much of the fuel is from renewable biogas.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogas [wikipedia.org]
    • What is new? That's easy. Instead of using engines that run on alternative fuels which are renewable, these researchers changed gasoline from a fuel with a limited supply which could never be replenished into a renewable fuel.

      Are other alternative fuels much more renewable? Yes. Is it in our best interests to switch to those alternative fuels ASAP? Probably. But ASAP stands for "As Soon As Possible"; how soon is it possible to switch over? When will it actually happen? The potential to create gaso

  • by Fennario (748680) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @07:29AM (#14849276)
    from TFA:
    "In a separate experiment revealing another unusual business potential for cow dung, another group of researchers has successfully extracted an aromatic ingredient of vanilla from cattle dung, said Miki Tsuruta, a Sekisui Chemical Co. spokeswoman. The extracted ingredient, vanillin, can be used as fragrance in shampoo and candles, she said."

    The thing about these Japanese corporate researchers is, they all think that their shit doesn't stink.
  • by hhawk (26580)
    The lack of comments about the technical or economic merits of this is sad. More sad is that the comments that are posted are all jokes. There is plenty of alt. groups and other places to show off your wit & humor!

    My question is the article said metal catalysts are required. How much do they cost? What is the cost of a gallon made this way today (in the lab) and what price do they expect it to cost w/ large scale production?
    • The lack of comments about the technical or economic merits of this is sad.

      It's the top story on the page as you wrote that. It takes a few minutes for moderators to kick in (sorry, I used my points in the Poll, where I seldom post).

      Also, you should know the first 50 posts are mainly Karma whores trying to get in a post early to soak up those valuable mod points. I forget how many you need to win the free iPod...
    • Does this process provide any insight into the origin of oil within the Earth?

      One of the claims of the abiogenic-oil folks (J F Kenney and Russian colleagues, T Gold) is that no one has proven the mechanism by which buried plant or algae or other organic material turns into oil by being buried at the shallow depths of the "oil window." The conventional narrative on biogenic oil is that organic material gets buried, and at a certain range of depth (about 1-2 miles down), the temperature and pressure is ab

  • by Anonymous Coward
    A Load of Manure
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/04/opinion/04niman. html [nytimes.com]

    TALK of reducing our dependence on foreign oil through alternative energy sources like biomass is everywhere these days -- even on our president's lips. As a livestock farmer and environmental lawyer, I've paid particular attention to discussion about using manure as "green power." The idea sounds appealing, but power from manure turns out to be a poor source of energy. Unlike solar or wind, it can create more environmental problems than
  • by layer3switch (783864) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @09:15AM (#14849485)
    0.042 ounces of oil per 3.5 ounces of cow dung
    1.2% volume yield

    551,155 tons of cow dung produced in Japan annually (according to article)
    250,000,000 tons of oil consumption in Japan annually (rough estimate from Wikipedia)

    6,614 tons of oil extracted from cow dung annually (1.2% of 551,155 tons)

    I am not even sure how much electricity/energy requires to produce 6,614 tons of oil, but it may well be from cow dung oil.

    Roughly around 7.4 barrels are equal to 1 ton, therefore 6,614 tons comes out to be about 49,008 barrels of oil. According to Wikipedia and my guess, with about 5,500,000 barrels per day consumption in Japan, that 49,008 barrels of cow dung oil only lasts about .. hmm I don't know... like 12 minutes? Well, at least it's good to know that when oil runs out, cow dung can be used to run the entire Japan for about 12 minutes...
    • i was thinking the same thing.

      .042 ounces?? Who are they kidding? Should have been titled "very small amount of gasoline".

      if my math is correct you'd need 10,666 ounces of shit to make one gallon, so that's 666 lbs... 666 lbs of shit? thinking this aint a good idea...

  • ... we sometimes put something it its place, to offset its void. Maybe we should start pumping cow dung into the void...
  • During World War II the Germans made Gasoline from coal on a massive scale. That process is well known. Making gasoline from oil is the preferred process because of several reasons: it costs less, it is cleaner - no strip mining, the oil can be pumped out of the ground as a liquid instead.

    There are two well known problems with our current technological society: the first is supplying the energy source for it, the second is what do you do with the waste products? Basically no effort has been put into the sec
    • Suppose you genetically engineered a form of chlorophyl which produced hydrocarbons instead of carbohydrates.

      SOme plants which produce hydrocarbons are called "oilseeds". Some Algae do it also. As for the waste - its CO2 and if ppl don't notice plants use it for food.

      As for the presumed negative effects of CO2... well - the paleoclimate record shows that CO2 more than 13x higher than now did not cause global warming during the Ordovician... and in fact did not prevent the planet from plunging into an ice
  • "It smells like money, to the Japanese"
  • by rgoldste (213339) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @10:39AM (#14849730)
    Coincidentally, the New York Times today has an op-ed [nytimes.com] that argues this is a terrible idea. The main point of the op-ed is that such power generation would encourage environmentally-harmful factory farming, which is the source of all the dung, by essentially subsidizing their dung production. Dung power would have other bad environmental side effects, too.
  • 3.5oz - not going to yeild much petrol, is this for bonsai cars perhaps ?
  • by minus_273 (174041)
    now that's good shit!
  • india (Score:3, Informative)

    by bloosqr (33593) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @11:31AM (#14849906) Homepage
    In india actually dried cow dung is used directly as a fuel in the form of "cow cakes" and is in fact a "traditional fuel"

    http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/curriculum/socialstd/gra de7/india/Woman_cooking.html [k12.md.us]

      "Refining" of cow dung has been going on for a long time for even more efficiency is used all the time

    Check out this article from 1995 that converts cow dung to methane which is used in power plants and the left over slurry is used a fertilizer..

    http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/C ourses/so191/SouthAsReadings/IndiaEnergySuccess.ht ml [fairfield.edu]
    • In india actually dried cow dung is used directly as a fuel in the form of "cow cakes" and is in fact a "traditional fuel"

      That explains why they consider cows sacred over there. No cows, no fuel. No fuel, no fire. No fire, no cooked rice for food.

  • Plans were announced to build a high volume refinery near Crawford, TX.
  • I think this story is.... ...c'mon, you know it's coming.... ....bullshit.
  • In other news, Bush declared India the most likely hiding place of Osama, and the US began to gear up for operation "Hindu Freedom".

  • It takes approximately 666 pounds of cow dung to produce 1 gallon of gasoline.

    That being said, Jaqan has 551,155 tons of dung. That works out to 1,656,321 gallons of gasoline.

    But here's the question. It takes a lot of energy to extract this from the cow dung. Where will that come from? Burning some methane perhaps?
  • by Kelz (611260)
    Someone go out and invent the cow toilet so we can harness this!! (I don't want to be the one in the fields picking up the chips)
  • San Francisco is doing something similar soon except it's not gasoline. Collecting dog waste to create methane gas.

    Dog waste not, want not [msn.com]
  • ... now the Marines have to liberate them as well and spread democracy and freedom to the cow pastures. Next thing you know, the first suicide cow bomber will go down in the annals of history, and those bastards the politicians will have another great enemy to define and use.

    Stop drinking milk you terrorist lovers!

    Oh well...
  • Funny this article came up. The University of Illinois is doing something similar with pig manure... Check it out at http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/news/stories/news3557.htm l [uiuc.edu] The article isn't very detailed, but it is interesting.
  • total = (500,000 x 10^6 g of shit) * (1.4 x 10^-3 liters of gas) / (100 g of shit)
    total = 7,000,000 liters of gasoline
    total = 1,849,204.36 US gallons

    Per capita consumption 464 gallons per year
    (http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/statistics/gaso line_per_capita.html [ca.gov])

    Americans = (1,849,204.36 US gallons) / (464 gallons)
    Americans = 3,985.3

    4000 people would benefit. Woohoo!!! Energy Independence! USA! USA! USA! USA!

    We're not even factoring the gasoline needed to make the process work or to ship the shit/gasolin
  • by ross.w (87751)
    I'm off to Canberra with a shovel!
  • I always knew I was driving a shitbox, this just proves it.

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