Cows are a notorious source of the dangerous greenhouse gas methane. It is thought that they each emit up to 500 litres of methane a day. However, one German farm has discovered that the emissions of methane can have a dangerous impact on safety as well as the environment!
90 dairy cows kept in a cow shed in the German town of Rasdorf emitted so much methane that high levels of the gas had built up inside the shed. According to police, a reported static electric charge then caused the methane to explode in flashes of flames, which led to damage to the roof of the cow shed and injuries to one of the Cows.
Emergency services then had to take gas readings to measure the risk of further explosions.
However, incidents like this may soon be a thing of the past. A team of scientists from the National Institute for Farming Technology in Buenos Aires has found a way of harnessing the methane gas produced by cows' stomachs and then converting it into an energy source. If this is proved effective, it could provide a source of renewable energy (so long as the cows keep producing the gas) and help keep greenhouse gases down. Watch this space….