Japanese chemical manufacturing company, Air Water Inc., has embarked on a project to transform cow waste into liquid biomethane, with the aim of utilizing it as rocket fuel.
In a pioneering effort, a Japanese chemical manufacturing company, Air Water Inc., has embarked on a project to transform cow waste into liquid biomethane, with the aim of utilizing it as rocket fuel. This breakthrough not only holds promise for the space industry but also offers a sustainable solution for dairy farmers grappling with waste disposal challenges.
Scheduled for trials in the upcoming fall season, the produced biomethane will be loaded onto a rocket developed by the space startup, Interstellar Technologies Inc., located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido.
Since 2021, Air Water has been producing liquid biomethane in Hokkaido. The process involves fermenting dung and urine at a plant situated on a dairy farm in the town of Taiki. The generated biogas is then transported to a factory in Obihiro.
Subsequently, the methane is extracted from the product, cooled, and transformed into liquid biomethane. This innovative approach aims to offer a sustainable alternative to the traditional method of manufacturing high-purity methane from liquid natural gas.
Rockets necessitate liquid fuel to generate the power required for space launch. While conventionally high-purity methane is derived from liquid natural gas, Air Water’s innovative approach focuses on creating methane of similar quality using waste-sourced biogas.
Interstellar Technologies is poised to conduct comprehensive tests to confirm the suitability of the cow waste-derived fuel for their devices. Their goal is to implement this groundbreaking fuel source for their “Zero” rocket, which is designed for carrying a small satellite payload.
A spokesperson from Air Water expressed their vision of launching rockets using carbon-neutral energy, underscoring the environmental sustainability of this initiative.
This transformation of cow waste into rocket fuel not only represents a significant step forward in sustainable space exploration but also addresses critical waste management challenges faced by the agricultural sector.
By harnessing the potential of biogas from dairy farms, this innovative venture exemplifies how diverse industries can collaborate to drive forward both environmental sustainability and technological progress.