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Solution: Methane?

3389 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  The_Blob
Methane Gas?

When I was a kid I had a copy of a publication called “The Last Whole Earth Catalog” It was a book of tools and one of the most amazing books I ever had.
One thing I remember was an English chicken farmer that produced Methane gas from chicken manure in fifty-five gallon drums.
A slurry was made and stored in these drums and the Methane under a small heating source would simmer to the top and the farmer would gather this gas and stored in large tire tubes used as mobile bladders.

He ran his truck on this gas. From what I remember he used this truck all the time and just kept the tire tube topped up with Methane.
Also mentioned was it burned clean, similar to natural gas.
Except it can be produced free!

The article also mentioned some used this gas for cooking in third world countries too.

Could you imagine a set up with a Methane gas powered static mount American V8 turning a generator shaft for electricity,
And a heat exchanger built using the cooling system on this V8 to produce hot water for a small-scale home heating system. Could this be a solution?
Anyone here have any added information on the easily produced gas?
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find the following three books:
Methane: planning a digester by Peter-John Meynell 1976
Methane generation form human, animal and agricultural wastes By National academy of sciences 1977
Practical building of methane power plants for rural energy Independence by l. John Fry. 1974

I could not find any newer books, but I have all three of these and they are really good especially the last one. I've been looking into building one here to help clean up the manure from 6 horses, 30 plus chickens, 3 dogs and a rabbit. Plus it makes a better fertilizer for the horse manure then composting it.
Actually, Methane from animal waste was used before electrification of the US, and it's still used in some third world countries.

Animal waste is put into a 'Reactor', which is actually a tank, then the methane that builds up as that waste breaks down is siphoned off and burned for cooking/heating.

If you check around, you will find that a lot of the large cattle and hog feed lots still use methane from the waste holding tanks to heat with...

Lot's of chicken/turkey houses not only use the waste for methane generation,
But since chicken/turkey waste is mostly disposed of as solids,
Heating coils are being run through the compost pile to collect the natural heat.
(where hog/cattle waste is hosed down and disposed of as a liquid slurry and doesn't generate heat)

In your research, you will find that several farmers are killed every year when they enter those tanks for what ever reason...
Methane is odorless, colorless and incapacitates almost instantly, killing humans in VERY Short periods of time!

When properly used, it will take one of the more potent 'Green House' gasses out of the air, and give you free heat.

In places like India, Cashmere, Pakistan, ect., methane 'Reactors' are 'Mining' a harmful waste product and supporting a cottage industry that is making a real difference!

Now instead of people PAYING to have animal waste cleaned up from the streets, people are actually FIGHTING over it in places!

What comes out of a 'Dry' reactor is a clean, dry organic product that can either be further dried and burned as fuel,
Added with some other clays and sometimes cements, and used to make a 'Bio Brick' for building,
Or used 'as is' for organic fertilizer.

I haven't tried it (Yet), but I've done a lot of research on it, and in harsh winter times when the chickens and pigs/cattle/sheep/goats have to be sheltered...
You MUST do something with the waste!
No reason since I'm working remove/compost it anyway I shouldn't get some extra 'Good' from it!
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Isn't this how they powered thunderdome? :D Seriously tho it is a brilliant idea for energy... along with collecting the heat. Gives me visions of a future where surburbia evolves to each house being self-contained at least from a waste/energy point of view... maybe one day.
Isn't this how they powered thunderdome? :D Seriously tho it is a brilliant idea for energy... along with collecting the heat. Gives me visions of a future where surburbia evolves to each house being self-contained at least from a waste/energy point of view... maybe one day.
Right now, we are still stuck in the Stone Age as far as disposing of waste...

We still stick it in piles, then set it on fire.
Sometimes it's covered over, but usually not unless someone wants the land for something else.

The most alarming trend lately is burning plastics.
They make PCB's and Dioxin, the two most lethal poisons ever devised by man!

It also puts tons of metals into the air, and heavy metal poisoning is rampant in industrialized countries.

When the general public ever gets educated enough to see how much energy went into those products, then maybe they will make some of the trash pay it's way out...

Recycle the plastics, metals, ect. so they don't make toxins in the enviorment,

Recycle the applicable paper, ect.

Bio waste can be 'Composted' for the heat and to make some pretty great fertilizer,
Or the used up compost can be burned as bio mass for generating electricity, then the ashes (flyash) can be used in cement, as a back fill or as a fertilizer supplement.

There simply is no reason to waste petroleum or gas to incinerate the trash, or waste that resource in open burn pits,
Releasing some of the most deadly toxins known to man!
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their are many shows on the discovery channel that have shown mid-scale agricultural methane reclamation on dairy farms as a viable energy source:

cool fuels
dirty jobs - the one with the 'poo pots'
invention nation

those are all I can think of off the top of my head

from what information I have compiled, a dairy farm can generate it's own electricity, heat all of it's buildings & STILL have enough left over power to sell to the grid = 1 avg US household/2 cows

of course, if people were more conscientious in their energy usage that # could go down

the solids after composting don't have any poo-smell & look like rich dark earth

I haven't seen any #s for other types of livestock, especially since none of them poop as much as a holstein cow (100+ lbs/day)
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You are good at drawing things Jeephammer, how about posting some ideas for a methane reactor on a small scale?
Jeep can't answer,he got himself banned,you can ask him here on our forum if you like.
What was he banned for? He can really figure out how to build and fix things cheaply. He figured out how to build an entire ignition system for my jeep from spare parts and it works great! Only cost about $60 to build. I'll try him at the other site you posted. Thanks.
People... People... People...
Methane gas, Natural gas, Liquified Natural gas (LNG) our farts. It is all the same gas. Even the actual gas from our farts is oderless. It is the bacteria from our intetines that create the smell.
Methyl Mertcaptain is what the put in natural gas that comes into your domicile.
Since naturtal gas is oderless you would't know if there is a leak until it is to late. That is why it is made to smell bad by adding Methyl mercaptan.
Iceland has a tremendous national-level alternative energy program going, they even have a train that runs on cow-produced methane... it gets either 1 mile/4 cows or 4 miles/cow I can't remember which
Iceland is also broke. The whole country recently went bankrupt due to the global economic downturn.
I was mistaken, it was a Swedish Company...

The Svensk Biogas company of Linköping, Sweden, has built a locomotive that runs on cows and cow manure. The $1.25 million engine, which replaces an old Fiat diesel-powered locomotive along a local commuter line, is billed as the most environmentally friendly train in the world.

wow... that's cheaper than a normal locomotive costs to buy
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