Off Peak

Deck: 
Power plants choose that most renewable of fuels.
Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 2002
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Dung Deal

Power plants choose that most renewable of fuels.

Power from pig poop. Sounds like a skit from Saturday Night, but it's not. In July, a bona fide dung-fired power plant came online in that most proper of nations, Great Britain. And according to the firm behind the project, Farmatic UK, the plant could be the first of many in Britain.

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Dung-fired power plants are also popular in Germany and Denmark, which each has about 20 large-scale plants operating.

The plants all run on methane gas generated from a fermented slurry of animal waste. Technically, the process is called anaerobic digestion. Large hog, dairy, and chicken operations typically are the source of the waste.

In addition to power, the British plant also produces hot water for the town of Holsworthy, north of Devon, as well as organic manure suitable for agricultural use. Talk about cradle-to-grave waste management.

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