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How This Organic Dairy Farmer Powers His Truck With Cow Waste

By Nicole Caldwell

A Californian dairy farmer has figured out a way to run his electric truck off power acquired from cattle waste. Albert Straus of Straus Family Creamery spent eight years working with a local mechanic to figure out how to convert a 33,000-pound International Harvester semi truck into an electric hauler, the batteries for which receive their charge from methane-generated electricity.

Turning methane to electricity requires a reimagining of the power of poop. 

The Straus Family Creamery has been tapping alternative energy for years, with a biodigester that since 2004 has been turning organic waste like cow manure into energy.    

Liquid cow manure goes into the biodigester and becomes biogas. The creamery captures around 9.2 million cubic feet of biogas every year, preventing about 1,645 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. From there, the digester turns the biogas into electricity that provides enough power for the 500-acre farm—the equivalent of taking 347 cars off the road.