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Japanese company working to transform cow waste into rocket fuel

September 18, 2023 04:13 PM

Tokyo: A Japanese chemical manufacturing company is working to utilize cow waste to create liquid biomethane that will then be used as rocket fuel. This will help dairy farmers facing disposal challenges, reported Kyodo News.


Kyodo News is a nonprofit cooperative news agency based in Minato, Tokyo. Air Water Inc. said it would begin conducting trials in the fall, with the fuel to be loaded on a rocket created by space start up firm Interstellar Technologies Inc. based in Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido.

Air Water has been manufacturing liquid biomethane in Hokkaido since 2021. It ferments the dung and urine in a plant constructed on a dairy farm in the town of Taiki before transporting the generated biogas to a factory in Obihiro, as per Kyodo News.


The methane is then separated from the product, cooled and made into liquid biomethane. Rockets in order to blast off into space, require liquid fuel to generate power. While high-purity methane is usually manufactured using liquid natural gas, the company has been working on creating methane of a similar quality through waste-sourced biogas.


Tests will be held by Interstellar Technologies to confirm if the fuel created from cow waste can be used for its devices. The company aims to utilize it for its "Zero" rocket with a small satellite payload. "We want to send the rocket up using carbon-neutral energy," a representative from Air Water said, as per Kyodo News.

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