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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!
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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.
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.
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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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