Energy and car fuel from cattle droppings: Sounds too good to be true, but it's been happening for some time. Where is it? In Rivergaro, near Piacenza, in Emilia Romagna, in a farm called Cascina Bosco Gerolo.
The company has 600 cows and produces large quantities of milk (and, as it were, waste materials). The eclecticism of its management, however, is leading to an interesting diversification of its offer.
In recent years it has launched a project that allows it to produce renewable energy in the form of biogas, and to have a real circular economy.
We can produce energy from animal waste and livestock waste, along with agricultural by-products.Nicoletta Cella, co-owner of the farm Cascina Bosco Gerolo
From the "pampas" to the "pump"
Behind the farm, a specific facility extracts biomethane from excrement and animal waste and transports it directly to a petrol station, where customers' cars can refuel.
From producer to consumer, no intermediaries.
Bio-sustainable fuel from livestock waste. A gas station next to a farm. It can really be a model. "The idea of not wasting anything, but putting part of our production cycle in the transportation system is extremely rewarding on a personal level," says Cella.
The service station was opened a few months ago, just two weeks before the conflict in Ukraine flared up with all the consequences you know, even on gas and fuel.
Flowers are born from excrement
In addition to addressing the energy crisis, the initiative represents a solution for managing methane gas emissions.
According to the European Commission, methane emissions contribute massively to climate change, and the livestock sector is a major contributor.
This greenhouse gas has more heat trapping qualities than carbon dioxide and has trapped over the past 20 years 84 times more heat compared to CO2.
Last year, at the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow, a coalition of countries signed the first global commitment to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030.
Containing emissions, reducing waste and producing energy are a virtuous combination that is good for the future. A small paradigm seems to have been born in Italy.
For once, "full of excrement" does not mean that you are unlucky.