Scientists turn cow manure into clean drinking water
Breakthrough in environmental science as potentially a new source of clean drinking water is developed
Wednesday 04 June 2014
It's not quite turning water into wine, but scientists in the United States have developed technology that turns cow poo into water.
The McLanahan Nutrient Separation System, which has been developed by Michigan State University, is an anaerobic digester which takes waste and makes energy coupled with an ultrafiltration, air-stripping, reverse osmosis system.
What goes in manure, comes out water clean enough for livestock to drink, or, at the very least, dispose of in an environmentally friendly way.
“If you have 1,000 cows on your operation, they produce about 10 million gallons of manure a year,” said Steve Safferman, an associate professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering at Michigan State University, who helped develop the project.
“About 90 per cent of the manure is water but it contains large amounts of nutrients, carbon and pathogens that can have an environmental impact if not properly managed.”
The system produces about 50 gallons of water per 100 gallons of manure, but they're hoping to soon increase that to 65 gallons.
There are more than 87 million cows in the US, so if the system works then theoretically they could produce 870 million gallons of clean water every year.
“Here in Michigan we have a tendency to take water for granted,” Steve Safferman, an MSU associate professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering, said in a statement. “But out west, for example, where drought remains an issue, the accessibility of clean water could make the difference between a farm remaining viable or going out of business.”
Perhaps more feasibly, however, is what this invention can do for manure disposal. The US Environmental Protection Agency says that poorly managed manure has consequences – poison drinking supplies, algae growth in water systems, and even air pollution.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
German conservatives are destroying Europe with austerity, says economist Thomas Piketty
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...