Researchers at the Vehicle Research Institute at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., have developed a way to make cow manure power cars.
To begin, the researchers pump manure into a storage tank. After 21 days, they siphon floating methane out of the tank using garden hoses. The methane is then purified to remove other gases before it is pumped into a car.
The manure from one cow creates enough methane to power a natural-gas car for 15 miles. The manure from 20 cows could power a car for 300 miles.
The technology could mean cheaper fuel for many drivers. Currently, the natural gas created from the manure is one-fifth the price of regular gasoline at the pump, said Eric Leonhardt, an engineering technology professor and director of the Vehicle Research Institute.