Pig Poo Power The Answer To China's Porky Poser?
By Pauline Askin
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Seven hundred million pigs produce a lot of poo.
China's love of pork presents a mountain of a problem for the environment, 1.4 million metric tons (1.5 million tons) of pig poo a year to be precise, but an Australian company believes it has part of the answer.
Why not turn the pig poo into power?
Using a bioreactor called "PooCareTM" and other technology, the pig manure is converted into biofuel for cooking and heating while the residual goes to farmers as nutrient-rich fertilizers.
"The benefits are energy and fuel for farmers as well as preventing further contamination of the environment," said Ravi Naidu, chief scientist at CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC Care), a South Australian-based firm involved in drawing up the technology.
"So it's really a green technology from that perspective," Naidu, a University of South Australia professor, told Reuters.
The process involves a bioreactor 30 m (98 ft) long, 10 m (33 ft) high and 4 m (13 ft) wide. It is set below ground and waste is fed through it slowly at a pre-determined temperature.
This converts solid waste into a biogas that is then pumped through gas tanks that can be delivered to the local community. The entire process takes about a month, with the first biogenerator already running at a farm in Wuhan, central China.
China has an estimated 700 million pigs, producing some two-thirds of the meat consumed there annually, so the scale of the problem can't be underestimated.
Only one tenth of pig waste is used now as manure. It is estimated the nutrients lost in the waste of one pig alone are worth about A$50 ($52) per year. There is a vast disparity in rural and urban incomes with farmers earning around $75 per month.
The potential health hazards are worse.
"Pig waste contains a high level of nitrate, which in liquid form can contaminate ground water and in flake form can contaminate lakes, posing human health risks," Naidu said.
Chinese scientists and Hong Kong-based technology firm HLM Asia Ltd also took part in developing the technology, which costs roughly A$35,000 ($36,400) for one bioreactor. Mass production would bring costs down, Naidu said.
(Editing by Elaine Lies and Paul Tait)
I never thought I'd think I had anything in common with Miley Cyrus, but that is EXACTLY the same way I pump my gas too! What a coincidence! It's just not the same unless your jacket is covering your face.
And now let's hear it for the Chicago woman who has enough cojones to repeatedly spit in front of the camera and pretend she didn't know it was recording. This is priceless.
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And now, Kama Sutra for sleepers!
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And today's WIN! I think I just sat here and watched this animated gif for 5 minutes straight, while giggling. I so wish I could do this.
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Hey, WTF?!! Actually it's kind of cool. I want my eyes to be done like the Hulk.
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And that's all the time I have for today. Which character would you have your eyes done as? (men feel free to answer this too) Until tomorrow then...
What she discovered was astonishing. The specimen contained bits of tissue, red blood cells, and more. Before this, it was thought impossible that these elements would survive this long. This is the first observation of its kind and scientists around the world are baffled by the findings.
The findings could potentially lead to new insights on how dinosaurs evolved, how their muscles and blood vessels worked, and could even settle the debate on whether the animals were warm-blooded, coldblooded –or both.
Why was this information just discovered? Scientists say it’s so difficult to find and procure the bones in the first place that most did not even think to destroy them in acid! No word on whether they'll be able to get enough DNA out of this tissue to create a theme park, though.