The Northwest Iowa facility that is going to create environmentally friendly fuel for California cars polluted a nearby creek when thousands of gallons of manure water spilled from the facility last week.

According to an article in Iowa Capitol Dispatch, one of the three manure digesters built by Gevo spilled an estimated 376,000 gallons of manure water into the ground.

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The digester is the smallest of the three Gevo built, but it can still hold 1.5 million gallons of manure. Workers are still looking to find the source of the leak. According to a spokesperson of Gevo, they plan to inspect the other digesters as extra precautions and the spill will not set the project back.

It is unclear how long the digester has been leaking. The liquid seeped into the ground where it was made its way to a stormwater drainage system. The contaminated water then flowed into a crop field and into Lizard Creek- however, it is unclear how much reached the creek.

The effects of the spill are not immediately clear.

Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash
Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

The Cow-Fuel Project

The digester was part of the project that was creating an environmentally friendly fuel to power cars in California. Construction of the facilities began last year and just two weeks ago Gevo announced the project was online. The project is estimated to produce 355,000 units of 355,000 Metric Million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) of renewable natural gas (RNG) per year.

A US Department of Energy study, which looked into the use of renewable natural gasses for transportation, said that vehicles using this type of fuel are estimated to have 95 percent lower emissions than vehicles fueled by gasoline or diesel.



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