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Turning dung into energy: how a group in Canada are attempting to perform equine alchemy

You’ve heard of turning water into wine – well, now an association in British Columbia in Canada is looking at ways of converting horse dung into horsepower.

The Bio Products Association, which promotes the use of alternative fuel, is trying to trap the methane given off when horse manure decomposes in order to burn it to produce energy. The plan is to convert sufficient methane to power Vancouver’s Hastings Park Racecourse.

Executive Director of the non-profit society, Glenn Rousseau, said: “This is an easy do. It’s going to happen this summer.”

The 1,000 or so horses stabled at the racecourse produce between 16 and 32 tons of waste every day, which includes the straw that catches the dung.

Mr Rousseau said: “That’s a lot of manure. You could generate a fair amount of power.”

It is also thought that the material left after the decomposition process would be sterile and suitable as barn bedding material.

“It would be pretty close to a zero-waste system,” said Mr Rousseau.