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Development of a Method to Convert Green and Animal Wastes to a Useful Agricultural Product with Possible Alternative Fuel UseEPA Grant Number: SU833511
Title: Development of a Method to Convert Green and Animal Wastes to a Useful Agricultural Product with Possible Alternative Fuel Use
Investigators: Meyer, W. Craig , Pracher, Mark
Current Investigators: Meyer, W. Craig , Farzaneh, Nicole , Ferree, Jeffrey , Gilmore, Kandis , Kurpjuweit, Justin , Mehta, Daniel , Musser, Leslie , Owen, Kevin , Pracher, Mark , Ulery, Marion
Institution: Pierce College
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: September 1, 2007 through May 31, 2008
Project Amount: $42,014
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Agriculture , P3 Awards , Sustainability
Challenge Area: EPA-G2007-P3-Z1 – Agriculture
We propose that a product composed of animal and green wastes will have application as an agricultural resource and/or a carbon neutral energy source. Green waste will be prepared to serve as a binder to produce a solid product when combined with animal wastes. A laboratory scale project will research methods to produce this product and test its performance as a soil amendment and as a solid fuel. Use of the product will reduce solid waste, improve water quality and provide an alternative energy source.
This project will: characterize the properties of green and animal wastes, develop methods to blend them into a product that will be nutrient-rich soil amendment and/or a fuel source, and test mixtures of the two wastes to determine the proportions yielding the best properties for use as a soil amendment or fuel.
This product represents a new approach toward waste use that combines two problem wastes to form a multiuse product that is clean and simple to produce. Previous treatment of these wastes by composting, biodigestion or pyrolysis are single use, more complex and produce unwanted byproducts.
The nutrient value of the product when used as a soil amendment will reduce the need for fertilizers which are derived from oil and reduce the impact of animal waste on our water supply. If used as a fuel, the product will not increase the levels of greenhouse gasses as it is carbon neutral since its carbon is derived from the atmosphere.
Green and animal wastes will be analyzed for nutrient and contaminant content. Test plantings will be used to compare the product to commercial fertilizers and unamended soil and its use as an alternative fuel will be tested using a bomb calorimeter.
Students gain experience in developing and conducting a research project. This sustainable technology will be integrated into the Environmental Science, Agriculture, Biology, and Chemistry curricula. If successful, the college will employ the technology for use on our 200-acre farm.