can we use cows as a source of green energy + food.

In the article about grain fed vs grass fed you stated, “The typical cow produces 200 to 400 quarts of methane a day.” Now, by no means am I trying to dispute said statement by the world’s smartest man; rather, can this be contained, collected, stored and/or harnessed for a positive use, with no further harm to the cows(aside from the electrical shock and spike or however it dies).
50-100gallons of methane a day X cows used for farming = a lot of methane?
p.s. - if my logic will benefit the world in a great way quickly, please bump it =)

manonthemoon from tx

While it is possible to capture the methane cattle produce (just google cattle methane capture), and then burn it in a conventional gas-fire power plant to produce electricity, it would be more thermodynamically efficient to simply burn the grass and grains the cows eat, and make electricity that way. Of course, if we are raising cattle anyways, since beef & dairy products taste so good, it makes sense to try an capture the methane they produce.

They do it in Vermont.

Well, the manure, not the methane. To gather the methane they’d probably need to run tubes and piping directly from the, er, source, similar to the piping used gather maple sap for syrup.

Of course, maple trees don’t wander around the forest the way cows wander around the meadow…

This is cross-posted in CCC, where it belongs (since it’s a response to a column). I’ve reported it.

The challenge is collecting the methane from the cows while they wander and graze. Strapping backpacks on all cows like one link I found does not seem reasonable on a large scale.