The Poop Hits The Turbines

Canadians have a new four-letter word for manure - IMUS. The Integrated Manure Utilization System, launched on 6 May at a Canadian cattle farm, converts manure into energy. It is the only biogas plant in the world to run on solid organic waste.

The plant, at Highland Feeders of Vegreville, Alberta, extracts methane by digesting the waste with heat-loving anaerobic bacteria. Burning the methane produces 300 kilowatts of electriaty for the farm and another 700 kilowatts to supply 700 nearby households. "We have the ability to expand the plant by 10 or more times this capaaty, which would make it the largest biogas producer in the world," says project director Mike Kotelko. The plant also extracts dean water for irrigation, as well as n itrogen and phosphorus compounds for use as fertilisers.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, may soon get in on the act. It hopes to be become the first zoo to run on energy from its animals' daily output of 500 kilograms of dung.

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