Bio-gas from cow dung has 55-65 percent methane and some percentage of other gases. About one cubic foot of gas may be generated from one pound of cow manure. This amount of gas is enough to cook a day’s meal for 4-6 people. About 1.7 cubic meters of biogas equals one liter of gasoline. The manure produced by one cow in one year can be converted to methane which is the equivalent of over 200 liters of gasoline. Yes, this is the blessing of cow dung which is abundant in our villages and can also be termed as ‘mobile CNG pumps’. Our neighbours have already started making full use of these pumps and are generating huge amount of gas for their domestic uses. In Pakistan we have also started looking to this hidden natural wealth. World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan (WWF-P) in collaboration with Japan has set up biogas plants in different villages of Punjab, Sindh and KPK.

The cost of one six to eight cubic meters unit is estimated between Rs 70,000 and Rs 80,000. There is no rocket science in this project. Dung is simply mixed with water and put into fermentation pit. The resultant gas is directly supplied from a dome-shaped cylinder to the household through pipes. This provides gas to cook and helps preserve our forests as conventionally firewood was used for this purpose. The remaining organic waste, called slurry, comes out of the other end and is used as fertilizer. It takes 30 days for the crop to mature on slurry, while it used to take 45 days on urea. So, in short this project is worth investing. I think that time is not far when our cows would come to the rescue and would take the place of our empty CNG pumps. A piece of advice in the end if you ever feel like smoking, do look out for any cows around you as they can be highly inflammable.

MOAZEN BILAL,

Lahore, January 9.