Dry animal dung fuel

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Stirling-Motor powered with cow dung in the Technical Collection Hochhut in Frankfurt on Main

Dry animal dung is used as a fuel in many countries around the world. It is a source of Green fuel used by more than two billion people.[1][2] However, it might have some disadvantages, such as air pollution.[3] As a cheap bioenergy source, it has gained growing interest.[4]


Dry animal dung was used since prehistoric time in many areas in the world,[5] as in Ancient Persia[6] and also in Ancient Egypt.[7]

Dry dung versus moist dung[edit]

Toilet developed by RTI International is based on electrochemical disinfection and solid waste combustion[8]

Both dry and moist dung can be used as fuels but dry dung is more commonly used. Dry manure is typically defined as having a moisture content less than 30 percent.[9] In 2011 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge to promote safer, more effective ways to treat human waste. A key rationale for this program was that both animal and human waste contained significant energy capacity, that if harvested could be used to fuel an energy-neutral toilet and waste treatment system for urban poor. Multiple teams funded under this program are using biomass combustion to safely dry and convert feces into thermal energy. A team lead by RTI International has developed a system that converts feces into burnable pieces and then uses thermoelectric devices to convert the thermal energy into electrical energy while excess heat dries the newer feces as it enters the system.

Why it is used and benefits[2][10][edit]

The M.N. Yavari, of Peru built by Thames Iron Works, London in 1861-62 had a Watt steam engine (powered by dried lama dung) until 1914

Dry animal dung is:

  • Cheaper than most modern fuels
  • Efficient
  • Alleviates local pressure on wood resources
  • Readily available - short the walking time required to collect fuel
  • No cash outlays necessary for purchase (can be exchanged for other products)
  • Less environmental pollution
  • Safer disposal of animal dung
  • Sustainable and renewable energy source


Drying cow dung fuel


Egyptian women making "Gella" dry animal dung fuel
  • In Egypt dry animal dung (from cows & buffaloes) is mixed with straw or crop residues to make dry fuel called "Gella" or "Jilla"[11] dung cakes in modern times and ""khoroshtof"" in medieval times.[12] Ancient Egyptians used the dry animal dung as a source of fuel.[7][13] Dung cakes and building crop residues were the source of 76.4% of gross energy consumed in Egypt's rural areas during the 1980s.[14] Temperatures of dung-fueled fires in an experiment on Egyptian village-made dung cake fuel produced
""a maximum of 640 degrees C in 12 minutes, falling to 240 degrees C after 25 minutes and 100 degrees C after 46 minutes. These temperatures were obtained without refueling and without bellows etc.""[15]

Also, camel dung is used as fuel in Egypt.[16][17]

Huts in a village near Maseru, Lesotho. The fuel being used on the fire is dried cattle dung


Dung cooking fire. Pushkar India.
Water buffalo dung fuel drying on a wall in a Hani ethnic minority village in Yuanyang county, Yunnan, China
  • Nepal[21]
  • Tibetan people also use dry Yak & sheep dung fuel.[18]
  • Palastine & Arabia used animal and human dung fuel.[22]
  • Iran since prehistoric time to modern eras[6]
  • In India dry buffalo dung is used as fuel.[18] it is even sometimes a sacred practice to use cow dung fuel in some areas in India.[23] Cow dung is known as ""Gomaya"" or ""Komaya"" in India. Dry animal dung cakes are called Upla in Hindi.[24]
  • Pakistanis use cow/buffalo dung fuel.[15]
  • Bangladesh dry cow dung fuel is called Ghunte.
  • Afghanistan (see photo)
  • Kyrgyz Republic Dung is used in specially designed home stoves, which vent to the outside
  • In Mongolia the dry animal (cows or horses) dung fuel is called ""Argol"".[18]
U.S. paratroopers patrolling outside a qalat covered in caked and dried cow dung in an Afghani village
Cow dung fuel was burnt on the Gauchar's Historical Field, India to gauge the direction of air currents
Making Komaya (cow dung fuel in India)


Dung cakes being prepared for fuel on the Ile de Brehat, Brittany, France, c. 1900.
  • Maltans used dry cow dung fuel[18]
  • Turks and Syrians use dry animal dung.[18]
  • Russians dry animal dung is known as ""Kiziak"" which is made by collecting dried animal dung on the steppe, wetting it in water then mixing it with straw then making it in discs which were then dried in the sun. It was used as a source of fuel for the winter and, throughout the summer.[25]
  • People of west of England used dry animal dung fuel[18]
  • France in Maison du Marais poitevin in Coulon there is a demonstration of traditional usage of dry dung fuel.

The Americas[edit]

  • Early European settlers on the Great Plains of the United States used dried buffalo manure as a fuel. They called it buffalo chips.[26]
  • American officials in Texas are studying using dry cow dung as a fuel[27]
  • Pueblo Indians used dry animal dung as a fuel[18]
  • In Peru a boat engine was fueled by Lama dung fuel.
  • Dry dung can be used in the production of celluloid for film.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Dry Animal Dung Fuel News.[28]
  • What Makes People Cook with Improved Biomass Stoves? A Comparative International Review of Stove Programs a report by Douglas F. Barnes, Keith Openshaw,Kirk R. Smith, and Robert van der Plas, WORLD BANK TECHNICAL PAPER NUMBER 242 ENERGY SERIES, Washington, D.C.[29]
  • Photos of the making of Indian dry cow dung fuel.[30]
  • Fuel for life : household energy and health. Written and coordinated by Eva Rehfuess, World Health Organization. ISBN 92 4 156316 8 (NLM classification: WA 754)
  • Preparing Cow Dung For Fuel
  • (Russian) Кизяк // Энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона: В 86 томах (82 т. и 4 доп.). — СПб., 1890—1907.
  • (German) Werner Nachtigall: Lebensräume. Mitteleuropäische Landschaften und Ökosysteme. BLV Verlagsgesellschaft, München, 1986, ISBN 3-405-13254-1
  • (French) Alain Raveneau: Le livre de la vache. Paris, Rustica, 1996, ISBN 2-84038-136-2
  • Fuelwood and charcoal in developing countries: An economic survey by J.E.M. Arnold and Jules Jongma, a preview of a position paper to be given at the 8th World Forestry Congress in September 1978 in Djakarta.[31]


  1. ^ "Combustion of dried animal dung as biofuel results in the generation of highly redox active fine particulates". Particleandfibretoxicology.com. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  2. ^ a b "What Makes People Cook with Improved Biomass Stoves?" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  3. ^ Bhishm Khanna. "What is the disadvantage of using animal dung cakes as fuel?". preservearticles.com. 
  4. ^ "Dung". bioenergywiki.net. 
  5. ^ "The materiality of dung the manipulation of dung in Neolithic Mediterranean caves" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  6. ^ a b Miller, Naomi (1984-01-01). "The use of dung as fuel: an ethnographic example and an archaeological application | Naomi Miller". Academia.edu. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  7. ^ a b "Ancient Egyptians use animal dung as a source of fuel". Boards.straightdope.com. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  8. ^ [1] RTI Reinvent the Toilet Project Team - Technology Overview
  9. ^ "Microsoft Word - Biomass Report.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  10. ^ "Pyrolysis Processing of Animal Manure to Produce Fuel Gases" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  11. ^ "✟ الرد علي شبهة كيف يأمر الرب نبيه حزقيال ان ياكل كعكا علي الخرء الذي يخرج من الانسان ؟ حزقيال 4: 12 ✟". holy-bible-1.com. 
  12. ^ "Egyptian cities and markets: What's behind a name? - Street Smart - Folk - Ahram Online". English.ahram.org.eg. 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  13. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly | Chronicles |". Weekly.ahram.org.eg. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  14. ^ "Biogas Technology Transfer To Rural Communities In Egypt" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  15. ^ a b "Dung & Archeology". Sas.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  16. ^ "Dry or moist camel dung fuel". Touregypt.net. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  17. ^ Travels Through Turkey in Asia, the Holy Land, Arabia, Egypt and Other Parts of the World: Giving a Particular and Faithful Account of what is Most Remarkable in the Manners, Religion, Polity, Antiquities and Natural History of Those Countries : with a Curious Description of Jerusalem as it Now Appears, and Other Places Mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, vol 2 Page 187 by Charles Thompson
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Scatalogic Rites of All Nations By John G. Bourke page 196. Books.google.com.eg. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  19. ^ Asouti, Eleni (2011-01-01). "The ethnoarchaeology of firewood management in the Fang villages of Equatorial Guinea, central Africa: Implications for the interpretation of wood fuel remains from … | Eleni Asouti". Academia.edu. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  20. ^ "Mali dry cow dung fuel". Reflexstock.net. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  21. ^ "Health Costs of Dung-Cake Fuel Use by the Poor in Rural Nepal" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  22. ^ The Bible Ezekiel 4:12 And you shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it with dung that comes out of man. http://bibleapps.com/ezekiel/4-12.htm
  23. ^ "India scared cow dung". Ajitvadakayil.blogspot.com. 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  24. ^ "Animal Dung As A Source Of Energy In Remote Areas Of Indian Himalayas" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  25. ^ "Polish settlements in Russia during WW II". Polishresettlementcampsintheuk.co.uk. 1936-09-19. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  26. ^ http://www.uwec.edu/geography/ivogeler/w111/cows.htm
  27. ^ "Texas dry cow dung fuel". Seco.cpa.state.tx.us. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  28. ^ http://www.scoopweb.com/Dry_animal_dung_fuel
  29. ^ "A Comparative International Review of Stove Programs" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  30. ^ Whalen, Mish (2011-01-31). "Photos of the making of Indian dry cow fuel". Photoblog.nbcnews.com. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  31. ^ "Unasylva - No. 118 - Wood for fuel - Fuelwood and charcoal in developing countries". fao.org.