A Bungaree dairy farm is attempting to turn 24,000 litres of cow poo into power.
Ballarat-based mining company Gekko Systems designed and built a “biodigester” at AJ Trigg Farm in the hope of using the renewable technology across the industry and beyond.
Gekko Systems operations manager Tony Stone said the aim was for the biodigester, which is still in its start-up phase, to eventually contribute to at least half the power needed to run farmer Mark Trigg’s robotic dairy.
The biodigester was designed to work in a similar way to an animal’s stomach in which waste is heated up to 37 degrees and allowed to decompose for 25 days.
The process creates methane gas, which is collected and transferred to engines to generate electricity.
Mr Trigg said the smell was an initial concern but the technology also deodorizes the manure.
“We’ve heard about digesters over the time in the industry and thought, ‘why can’t we have it in the dairy industry’?,” Mr Trigg said.
Gekko Systems technical director Sandy Gray believes that the mining specialists have turned into “alchemists”.
“We used to look at waste as something that was detrimental,” Mr Gray said.
“But now we believe we’re going to turn it into gold.”