Smart Energy

2014 Apr 28th

Green Cross Russia develops groundbreaking method that generates cleaner and cheaper energy from animal waste

28 April, 2014 | Moscow/Geneva: Green Cross Russia announced today the development of an innovative method converting animal waste into biogas for half the price and running on cleaner energy than existing biogas facilities in Europe. This groundbreaking method – the Green Cross Method – was developed in a farm on the outskirts of Moscow.  

President of Green Cross Russia, Sergey Baranovsky, is passionate about his organization’s mission to produce energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In his words, the fact that “a relatively small NGO, and not big government or industry” developed the new method is an interesting development. “Nobody else has been able to come up with an effective, economical way to convert manure into environmentally friendly, organic source of energy.”

The Green Cross Method produces clean energy and generates heat from burning methane (CH4) derived from biogas. 

The plant where the Green Cross Method is in use initially began processing manure from between 30 to 100 head of cattle into biogas. This biogas has a composition of 80% methane, can be produced within 36 to 48 hours and has a total output of 30-kilowatt hours of electricity. The plant also burns clean energy without emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane into the atmosphere. 

Animal emissions account for approximately 18% of CO2 and CH4 in the air worldwide according to Baranovsky. “Our method will give the agricultural sector ‘tools’ to prevent pollution of the atmosphere,” he said.

Currently, the plant processes waste from about 200 cows, but Baranovsky points out the cost-saving factor is based on biogas production for more than 700 cows. Based on this output, the Green Cross Method has a return on investment from biogas energy production in just one and a half year, as opposed to standard biogas facilities operating in Europe, which can take up to 10 years before having a fair return.

Energy generated by the biogas plant is powering agriculture and livestock facilities at a farm operated by the Russian Institute of Livestock. This farm is establishing an educational centre for farmers and has plans to promote this model in neighboring states. "Rapid action to reduce global carbon emissions is needed if we are to de-carbonize the global economy in the coming decades. The latest IPCC report has showed that this is not only possible but also affordable without sacrificing living standards," said Green Cross International's (GCI) Chief Operating Officer Adam Koniuszewski.  

The next step—promoting and installing the biogas system—is an important one to Baranovsky. While he is pleased about the positive effects the Green Cross Method has on the environment, advances can only be made in society if all farms use this system. “Governments and industries must now take an active role in finding international markets for this important source of energy,” ends Baranovsky.

About Green Cross International (GCI):

GCI was founded in 1993 by Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev and is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization advocating and working globally to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and conducts on-the-ground projects in more than 30 countries around the world.


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