Argentine scientists harness cow burps as natural gas source

Argentine scientists harness cow burps as natural gas source

Argentine scientists have found a way to transform the gas created by the bovine digestive system into fuel, an innovation that could curb greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Using a system of valves and pumps, the experimental technique developed by Argentina’s National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) channels the digestive gases from bovine stomach cavities through a tube and into a tank.

The gases – which otherwise are commonly known as burps, or “eruptos” in Spanish – are then processed to separate methane from other gases such as carbon dioxide.

Methane is the main component of natural gas, used to fuel everything from cars to power plants.

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“Once you get it compressed, it’s the same as having natural gas,” said Guillermo Berra, head of INTA’s animal physiology group.

“As an energy source it is not very practical at the moment, but if you look ahead to 2050, when fossil fuel reserves are going to be in trouble, it is an alternative,” he told Reuters.

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