How cow manure could power 1,000-server data center

As long as cows keep blowing out poop, there will be plenty of power to run thousands of servers all over the planet. In fact, HP Labs researchers just wrote a scholarly paper about how a "hypothetical farm of 10,000 cows could power a 1 MW data center — or on the order of 1,000 servers."

How does it work? Energy is extracted by piling up tons of manure, and then using a composting process involving anaerobic digestion. The result is pure methane, otherwise known as biogas. Hey, wouldn't this work with human poop, too? Perhaps the answer to our energy problems are closer than we think. It's already working with methane extracted from landfills.

While using crap for power seems gross, it sure beats filling up the Gulf of Mexico with brown slime. And, the scientists say that some farms are currently beginning to utilize biogas. There's certainly no shortage of cow pies in the world, so maybe it's time to start digging in.

Via Gizmo Watch