An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings

May 2, 2007

Cow Flop

Filed under: Opinion — olbroad @ 10:41

Investing in biomass fuels will pay off for Wisconsin

Ask the average person what comes to mind when he or she hears the phrase, “alternative fuel sources,” and you’ll probably hear about solar power, and wind power, and maybe even hydroelectricity.

“Manure” probably won’t pop up in the conversation.

Yeah, you’re probably right. Not many people have conversations about cow poop. Personally, I love wind farms. I just think they look….well, majestic.

The report, presented last week at a Madison biofuels conference, notes that Wisconsin has nearly 15 million tons of such matter that could be turned into 1.3 billion gallons of ethanol in a state that uses 2.6 billion gallons of gasoline annually.

Useable materials include prairie grass, crop residue, papermaking waste and cattle manure β€” matter that generally is considered worthless.

For some reason, I thought prairie grass was kind of endangered. At least that’s the impression I get every time I drive through Illinois. But then, what do I know….I’m a Southerner.

The state already is taking action on the matter. Besides the $40 million Gov. Jim Doyle has proposed in his budget to promote renewable fuels, Wisconsin has joined the 12-state North Central Bio Economy Consortium, which will focus on developing crop residue as a viable fuel source.

“Promoting renewable fuels”. I guess that means we’ll be inundated with commercials. Waste of money if ya ask me. If he wanted to do something useful, he could use that 40 mil for research, or how ’bout contributing it to build a much needed new refinery.

Given the energy-intensive process to create ethanol from corn and the effect on crop prices created by that growing demand, finding other ways to create the gasoline alternative could produce benefits beyond simply powering an automobile.

I think ethanol is a bad idea. We need affordable food to feed people, not put in our gas tanks. I also don’t think putting bullsh*t in ’em is such a great idea either. I thought the purpose was clean air, not making it smell like a litter box.



  1. I’m with you on the wind farms, thanks for the endorsement! Plug-in hybrids might be a good way to go for vehicles, in addition to the biofuels alternatives.

    Thomas O. Gray
    American Wind Energy Association

    Comment by Tom Gray — May 2, 2007 @ 11:01

  2. I was wondering how cow Manure could be used to produce Ethanol?? Any info on this process would definately interest me. What about using Horse Manure??? I’ve got a horse farm and definately have manure that I could use… You just got my interest, I may be able to get some fuel and dispose of the manure… WOW!!!

    Comment by Leo — May 2, 2007 @ 8:01

  3. Leo, I’d suggest getting a hold of The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

    I thought horse manure was used in fertilizer. :/ Tells ya what I know. πŸ™‚

    Comment by olbroad — May 2, 2007 @ 8:23

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