Cow Fartpacks Are Here

Capture methane; help planet

Oops, I think I pooped a little. (Photo: INTA INFORMA)
OutsideOnline cow flatulence farts fartpacks methane environment INTA Argentina

Cows blew a hole in the ozone, remember? Amid the backlash against cows' greenhouse gas production (they are responsible for 25 percent of the methane produced on this planet) and the Crimea crisis, the White House took an official stance on cow flatulence as a part of its climate agenda—let's cut emissions from our methane-blowers by 2020—and Argentina's National Institute for Agricultural Technology may have a small-scale solution: cow "fartpacks."

The fartpack extracts 300 liters of methane a day from a tube inserted into the cow's rumen (its largest digestive tract) and converts big-tummy rumblings into energy.

The project is mostly hot air, INTA press officer Pablo Sorondo explained to FastCo.Exist. Fartpacks show that cow flatulence can be more than noxious gas, but they were not developed for mass production. "Imagine a future farm with a couple of these cows used to provide energy to satisfy the farm’s needs," said Sorondo.

Hey, maybe the fartpack will blow up—but hopefully not like these cows blew up a farm in Germany.

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