Manure Powered Ethanol Production

Cindy Zimmerman

Bion An ethanol facility powered by renewable energy from dairy waste is planned for a large Indiana dairy farm. Bion Environmental Technologies and Fair Oaks Dairy Farms have announced a joint venture that will enable environmentally sustainable expansion of animal agriculture in concert with ethanol production. According to the news release, Bion’s technology platform provides sufficient renewable energy from the associated animal waste stream to produce ethanol absent any outside fuel source such as natural gas or coal, while it directly addresses the growing long-term risk to distiller grains revenues as those markets become increasingly saturated by the continued expansion of U.S. ethanol production.
That’s a pretty technical way of saying they intend to use cow manure to generate the power required for ethanol production. Bion’s research indicates they can create sufficient renewable energy to support one million gallons of ethanol for every 1,000 dairy cows The joint venture will start with a research center to determine the economic and environmental sustainability of utilizing sand bedding in conjunction with Bion’s technology platform. Based upon that evaluation, Stage Two will include a Bion treatment system for Fair Oaks’ dairy herd and potentially other local dairy herds, along with an ethanol plant of a size to be determined by the number of participating dairy animals.