Buckinghamshire dairy farm unveils cow poo 'fuel station'

A dairy farm in Buckinghamshire has created the UK’s first ‘fuel station’ which transforms cow poo into power in a bid to be more sustainable. The three month on-farm trial will use manure from around 500 cows to create 27,000kg of biofuel to power dairy delivery trucks. It is part of a sustainability initiative to reduce Arla’s carbon footprint by 80 tonnes.

The co-op’s farmers will send their cows’ poo to anaerobic digestion plants where it will be broken down into different components, including clean bio-methane, and converted into usable fuel. The trial makes the dairy co-operative the first UK business to use waste from its own farms to generate power for its fleet. The process will also create nutrient rich, natural fertiliser which farmers can put back on to farms, making it an entirely closed loop.

The test will involve two special tankers that have been adapted to run on biofuel transporting milk between dairy processing sites. Together they are expected to cover around 90,000km and help reduce Arla’s carbon impact by 80 tonnes – the equivalent to 23 car journeys around the world. Ian Barker, who farms in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, said: “Many of us recognise how valuable a cow’s milk is, but many aren’t aware that manure is just as important.

“A dairy farm in Buckinghamshire has revealed the UK’s first ‘fuel station’ which transforms cow poo into power in a bid to be more sustainable. “Processing cow manure in this manner provides us with a limitless source of energy, plus the digestate, or solid matter, left over after the process makes an even richer fertiliser for my fields, so it’s a win-win.” Graham Wilkinson, Agriculture Director at Arla, said the initiative could be ‘revolutionary’ in helping fuel a greener future.

“Using manure from our farms is helping us reduce our waste and rely less on air-polluting fossil fuels so it’s a no brainer for us.

“With the help of our farmers and partners, we have a fully closed loop which at scale.”

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