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Renewable Vibes > News > Renewable Energy > A dairy farmer in South Florida is converting the manure from his cows into renewable energy, as reported by NBC 6 South Florida.

A dairy farmer in South Florida is converting the manure from his cows into renewable energy, as reported by NBC 6 South Florida.

A dairy farmer in South Florida is finding an innovative way to convert cow manure into renewable energy. Jacob Larson, the owner of Larson Dairy Farm, sends all of the milk produced on his farm to be bottled and distributed in Miami. While the farm is able to provide milk to feed 250,000 people daily, cows are also a significant source of greenhouse gases, particularly methane from their manure.

Larson acknowledges that cows are already natural recyclers, as they can consume food waste that would otherwise end up in landfills and produce their own greenhouse gases as they break down the waste. However, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a single cow can produce between 150 to 260 pounds of methane gas per year, making them the largest agricultural contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

To address this issue, Larson Farm has partnered with Brightmark, a company specializing in renewable energy solutions, to recycle the methane gas emitted by the cows and convert it into a renewable gas. This process has the potential to reduce approximately 57,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year, which is equivalent to planting 75,000 acres of forest annually, according to Bob Powell from Brightmark.

Larson explains the process by which the gas is captured and recycled. The manure and gas flow into a collection pit, and from there, it is pumped into a digester. The gas is collected during the 30-day period that the manure remains in the digester. Once captured, the methane gas is processed and cleaned before being utilized to power thousands of homes. Ryan Berger from Brightmark explains that the gas is transported through a transmission pipeline to the nearest power plant or off-takers who use the gas as a power source.

This project not only converts cow manure into renewable energy but also allows for the recycling of the water used to flush the manure. Additionally, the solid waste byproduct of the manure can be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Powell highlights that this process helps manage the nutrients, such as phosphorus, in the manure, preventing them from contaminating lakes and ultimately flowing into the Everglades.

Brightmark currently has 30 biogas projects throughout the country, but Larson’s farm is the only one in Florida. This initiative showcases the potential for sustainable farming practices and the importance of finding alternative energy sources in the agricultural industry. By harnessing the power of cow manure, Larson Dairy Farm is contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a more sustainable future.

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