Converting cow manure into truck fuel

Hilarides Dairy is trying a new method to minimize pollution and diversify energy sources in its trucks—converting cow waste to fuel

Hilarides Dairy is trying a new method to minimize pollution and diversify energy sources in its trucks—converting cow waste to fuel, with the help of a $600,000 grant from the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Alternative Fuel Incentive Program.

Rob Hilarides, the dairy’s owner, converted two heavy-duty diesel trucks to run on clean-burning bio-methane produced from his cows’ manure using an anaerobic-lagoon digester that processes the run-off of nearly 10,000 cows to generate enough bio-gas to run the two vehicles each day, CARB said. The process has reduced Hilarides’ diesel consumption by 650 gallons a day.

The grant is part of $25 million allocated by the State of California in June 2006 meant to encourage the introduction of alternative fuels. The Hilarides project reduces organic compounds and greenhouse gasses while generating compressed natural gas, CARB said.

“It’s energy projects like this that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get us off our dependency of foreign oil,” said CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “It also addresses sources of long term air and water pollution problems.”

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