Navigation Links
Tiny super-plant can clean up animal waste and be used for ethanol production
Date:4/7/2009

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that a tiny aquatic plant can be used to clean up animal waste at industrial hog farms and potentially be part of the answer for the global energy crisis. Their research shows that growing duckweed on hog wastewater can produce five to six times more starch per acre than corn, according to researcher Dr. Jay Cheng. This means that ethanol production using duckweed could be "faster and cheaper than from corn," says fellow researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Stomp.

"We can kill two birds biofuel production and wastewater treatment with one stone duckweed," Cheng says. Starch from duckweed can be readily converted into ethanol using the same facilities currently used for corn, Cheng adds.

Corn is currently the primary crop used for ethanol production in the United States. However, its use has come under fire in recent years because of concerns about the amount of energy used to grow corn and commodity price disruptions resulting from competition for corn between ethanol manufacturers and the food and feed industries. Duckweed presents an attractive, non-food alternative that has the potential to produce significantly more ethanol feedstock per acre than corn; exploit existing corn-based ethanol production processes for faster scale-up; and turn pollutants into a fuel production system. The duckweed system consists of shallow ponds that can be built on land unsuitable for conventional crops, and is so efficient it generates water clean enough for re-use. The technology can utilize any nutrient-rich wastewater, from livestock production to municipal wastewater.

Large-scale hog farms manage their animal waste by storing it in large "lagoons" for biological treatment. Duckweed utilizes the nutrients in the wastewater for growth, thus capturing these nutrients and preventing their release into the environment. In other words, Cheng says, "Duckweed could be an environmentally friendly, economically viable feedstock for ethanol."

"There's a bias in agriculture that all the crops that could be discovered have been discovered," Stomp says, "but duckweed could be the first of the new, 21st century crops. In the spirit of George Washington Carver, who turned peanuts into a major crop, Jay and I are on a mission to turn duckweed into a new industrial crop, providing an innovative approach to alternative fuel production."

Cheng, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering, co-authored the research with Stomp, associate professor of forestry, and post-doctoral research associate, Mike Yablonski. The research, which is funded by the North Carolina Biofuels Center, was presented March 21 at the annual conference of the Institute of Biological Engineering in Santa Carla, Calif.

Cheng and Stomp are currently establishing a pilot-scale project to further investigate the best way to establish a large-scale system for growing duckweed on animal wastewater, and then harvesting and drying the duckweed.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Microbes in mud flats clean up oil spill chemicals
2. Environmental cleaning intervention reduces transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms in ICUs
3. Cleaning up oil spills can kill more fish than spills themselves, say Queens biologists
4. Iowa State researchers developing clean, renewable energy for ethanol industry
5. The clean plate club may turn children into overeaters
6. Cleansing toxic waste -- with vinegar
7. Cleaning the atmosphere of carbon: African forests out of balance
8. U of T technique put to use to test clean up of contaminated groundwater
9. Biggest ever public investment in bioenergy to help provide clean, green and sustainable fuels
10. Pitt researchers create non-toxic clean-up method for potentially toxic nano materials
11. MIT: A quicker, easier way to make coal cleaner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tiny super-plant can clean up animal waste and be used for ethanol production
(Date:6/14/2017)...  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative ... to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place ... the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have ... France is one ... a 30 percent increase in the number of startups created ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ... age and identity verification solutions, announced today they will ... 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... International Trade Center. Identity impacts the ... in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 RAM ... announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication based ... quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These new ... semiconductor material created by Ram Group and its ... entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram Group ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... The effectiveness of a new ... clinical trials in the United States. (clinicaltrials.gov : NCT02973893) , To find out ... find your nearest participating clinic here https://factor-therapeutics.com/clinical-trials/ and discuss your condition ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... Philadelphia PA and London UK (PRWEB) , ... ... ... from DrugDev , a QuintilesIMS company, who enable the world’s most progressive ... learned from over 2,000 clinical trials at top pharma and biotech events in ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The award-winning producers behind the American Farmer ... innovations aimed at helping farmers solve the problem of nitrogen loss. The upcoming ... 8:30aET on RFD-TV. Check your local listings for more info. , As ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... the effects of exoskeleton-assisted walking on gait parameters and neuromuscular activity in ... adaptations during a robotic powered exoskeleton assisted walking session" (doi:10.1080.10790268.2017.1314900) was epublished ...
Breaking Biology Technology: