People who use agricultural equipment in the effort of maintaining dairy farms are no strangers to cow manure, one of the byproducts of these operations.
However, as technology advances, so do the potential uses for manure, as farmers, environmentalists and members of the tech sector look for new ways to convert poop into power.
According to a recent research paper from Hewlett-Packard, the methane in cow manure could be used to power data centers, whose energy needs are increasing as they grow more powerful. Furthermore, the heat generated from data centers could be employed for more efficient conversion of cow manure into methane.
"Although the information technology and livestock industries may seem completely disjoint (sic), they have complementary characteristics that we exploit for mutual benefit," the paper from HP said.
Using waste from farms in different ways is not a new concept. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it started a survey to count the number of operations across the country that create renewable energy, including that associated with methane.
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