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How Farmers Across Australia Are Using Waste as an Energy Source

Bobbi Peterson's picture
Editor Living Life Green

Bobbi is a contributor to many environmental publications and the editor of  Living Life Green, a blog dedicated to sustainability, education, and helping people achieve a more...

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australia energy

As society continues to grow and expand, humanity runs into a host of problems. While it’s fantastic that humans as a species continue to develop, it does bring up some huge questions about the future. How does water get provided to an ever-expanding population? How about food? Not to mention electricity, the expansion of the Internet, and sources of energy.

Energy is what makes everything tick. Using energy should be the most important topic going forward, and it eventually gets asked as to what humanity does when it comes to renewable energy. Major steps, including improvements in biodiesel, wind farms, and solar panels, get taken every year. However, a place where people still question the potency of ideas is trash. How do you transform trash into a renewable energy resource?

It just so happens that strides have been made in this realm in the past few years. But, what exactly is happening across Australia? How are people implementing trash as a renewable energy resource? The answer may surprise you, but will definitely put a smile on your face.

Farmers are the Key

In the world of farming, you may visualize cattle and providing food. While farmers do supply this need in society, they perform a wider variety of tasks. For instance, they help cut down on emissions of greenhouse gases. Instituting a new strategy known as carbon farming, farmers are projected to save the equivalent of 360 tons of carbon emissions. That’s a lot of carbon that gets saved.

Out of all the areas in which farmers focus their attention, one of the most promising deals with agricultural waste. Another way to put it? They focus on trash and how to utilize this for good. The farmers utilize bulk bags to carry the waste and start cleaning up the environment!

Farmers hold the key in this new way of thinking, and it will cause a major change.

The Process

A shining example of changing waste into energy comes from Queensland. In this part of the continent, the sugar mills burn bagasse. Bagasse is sugarcane waste and it’s being used as a biomass energy source. Even things as small and seemingly insignificant as cotton lint fibers are end up removed and used for renewable energy. It’s a wonderful situation to be in if you live in Australia.

Australia seems to be one of the pioneers of this type of practice, and they engage in it quite often. Using sugar mills’ waste as a renewable energy source creates a cleaner environment for all!

As well as waste, sewage is another facet of the renewable energy process. While sewage does fall under waste, it’s two different things when it comes to collecting it. A group named ARENA that works closely with waste treatment facilities in Australia considered the viability of this concept. They are well on their way to raising enough money to consider partnering with a sewage treatment plant. And they help out by placing the sewage and transporting them in bulk bags!

This partnership would open a door that leads to a cleaner environment and an Australia that runs on clean energy!

Other Means

Besides things such as trash and sewage, another interesting and intriguing group of waste that is getting the renewable energy treatment is blood. Wait, blood? How does that work? In meant processing facilities, blood is shed regularly. After all, that is their job. However, did you know that the blood doesn’t just have to be thrown away? With a bit of a creative spin, the blood gets turned into a renewable energy source.

In a nutshell, a man-made outdoor earthen basin gets built. The animal waste is then brought into this basin. This animal waste is free of dissolved oxygen and provides a place where the animal waste breaks down.

It’s a gross concept, but one that helps the environment and makes for some clean air!

Australia is a place where anything is possible. This is especially true for renewable energy. And it just goes to show you how much creativity goes into science. Farmers use waste as an energy source. It’s the way of the future!

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