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Dairy farmers can save money while they save the planet
Dairy farming has long been accused of being a major environmental problem because of the methane emitted by cows either through belching or to a lesser extent flatulence, but that same gas can be captured and used to slash your energy bills.

In fact, overall it is estimated that fourteen per cent of the world's greenhouse gases are caused by agriculture and methane is rated as being 23 times more harmful than CO2.

But a Brisbane innovator could have come up with the solution for the smaller dairy farm with an environmentally friendly, modular, small scale system of turning farm waste such as cow manure into free energy that can be used for heating, electricity or as an engine fuel.

Ron Lakin has developed the BioBowser, a small scale, affordable and practical bio digester that produces methane gas and after the gas is extracted the leftover material can be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

The principal of converting waste to methane has been known for centuries. On his epic journey in the 13th century Marco Polo commented that the Chinese were tapping gas from the sewers and using it for cooking. Large intensive dairy farms in Australia as well as piggeries, feed lots and abattoirs have long been harvesting methane to use as an energy source. But these require large one-off systems that can cost millions to build even though they pay back the capital outlay in energy savings in a few short years.

"All we need to know is the quantity of waste available on a regular basis and the energy requirements, and we can tailor the BioBowser system to suit the individual needs. If the amount of waste increases or more gas is needed we can put in more units as the system is modular," Ron says.

"A dairy farm milking 3 to 400 cows is likely to have 5 tonne of manure waste a day which and can produce 80 M3 of biogas, the equivalent of 60kg heat value of LPG.

"This amount of gas is likely to be sufficient to meet the usual energy needs, such as milk chilling, water heating and even heating the dairy on those cold winter mornings.

"Each BioBowser has to be tailored to suit the circumstances, such as the production of electricity or the use of gas as fuel for farm machinery as well as being plumbed into the farm site," Ron Lakin said.

About BioBowser Technologies: BioBowser is a small Australian start-up company that provides an environmentally-conscious waste solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the cost of waste treatment, while producing clean burning biogas for heating, cooking or converting into green electricity.

Released for BioBowser by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (
For further information please call Dennis Rutzou on 0411 510 888.

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