Friday, March 3, 2006
Japanese Scientists Extract Gasoline From Cow Waste
TOKYO (Nikkei)–Once considered useful only for fertilizer, scientists are finding new uses for cow excrement as a result of technological developments.
Researchers at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have found a way to produce gasoline out of cow waste in a tie-up with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
Using metal catalysts, the partners have successfully produced 1.4 milliliters of gasoline out of 100 grams of such waste after applying 30 atmospheres of pressure on it and heating it to 300 C.
The research partners believe a large facility capable of converting cow excrement into a significant volume of gasoline will be in demand from livestock farmers, who have a hard time disposing of the waste. They hope to commercialize such a facility within five years.
Sekisui Chemical Co. (4204) has developed a way to extract vanillin, a fragrant substance produced from vanilla, out of cow waste in cooperation with the International Medical Center of Japan’s Research Institute.
The substance was extracted after mixing the waste with water, heating it to 200-300 C and applying 20-70 atmospheres of pressure on it.
The process, which took an hour, costs half as much as taking vanillin out of vanilla flowers, they said.
(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Friday morning edition)
It’s like hitting two birds with one cow pie! Cool!