He's a California dairy farmer who just spent a $600,000 grant to convert two of his dairy's semi trucks to run on bio-gas.
Bio-gas is a fancy term that really means the stuff that's produce when you convert cow manure into purified and pressurized methane. His trucks had to be converted from compression-ignited diesels to spark-ignited methane-burners.
"For us it made sense to invest in this technology. Now we can utilize the dairy's potential to power our trucks in addition to generating electricity for our operations," Rob Hilarides, owner of the dairy, said.
"This will significantly reduce our energy costs and give us some protection from volatile energy prices."
Hilarides also had to build a covered lagoon into which he pumps the cow manure where bacteria break it down. The lagoon produces methane which is pumped out of the holding tank to a refinery that removes carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and other impurities. Finally the purified methane is pressurized before being pumped into the trucks.
"It's energy projects like this that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get us off our dependency on foreign oil," said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, "It also addresses sources of long-term air and water pollution problems."
According to Wired.com:
"Using cow manure to produce bio-methane cuts greenhouse gas emissions in two ways. Burning biomethane produces less pollution than conventional fuel, and producing it cuts down on the methane released into the atmosphere by the manure itself.
Hilarides Dairy will use manure produced by 10,000 cows to generate 226,000 cubic feet of biomethane daily — enough to reduce the Central Valley farm's diesel fuel consumption by 650 gallons a day."