Friday, November 11, 2011

Google Invests in the Power of Pig Poop

Google just announced that it has been carbon neutral since 2007, and the internet giant also recently unveiled plans to invest in pig poop as a form of renewable energy. Working in collaboration with Duke University and Duke Energy, the company will share funding for a poo-powered methane power plant in Yadkinville for five years. Using poop from the 9,000 hogs, the facility can produce enough electric power to run 35 homes for an entire year.

The state of the art facility, located outside of Winston-Salem, burns off the methane gas that is emitted from rotting pig poop. The burned gas is then used to power a turbine, which creates electricity. The model plant is a $1.2 million prototype, built to showcase North Carolina’s quest to promote renewable energy sources.

Aside from providing renewable energy, the Loyd Ray Farms plant also greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The plant operates by burning methane – which is a powerful greenhouse gas that is is naturally released by pig poop as it decomposes. The plant utilizes the methane, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. With Google’s help, the plant will operate at full force, in effect preventing the equivalent of 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere each year.

Google’s investment in the poo power plant will give the company additional carbon offset credits, make use of excrement, prevent greenhouse emissions equivalent to 900 cars, and create renewable energy. Sounds like a win-win-win to us.

Via Discovery News

Images © Dullhunk and © Elsie Esq

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