Tiny aquatic plant can clean up hog farms and be used for ethanol productionApril 8th, 2009 - 3:51 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, April 8 (ANI): 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 be used for ethanol production, thus contributing to solve 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,” said fellow researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Stomp.
“We can kill two birds - biofuel production and wastewater treatment - with one stone - duckweed,” Cheng said.
Starch from duckweed can be readily converted into ethanol using the same facilities currently used for corn, Cheng added.
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, “Duckweed could be an environmentally friendly, economically viable feedstock for ethanol,” said Cheng.
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. (ANI)
- Algae seen as cheapest, greenest bio-diesel source - Feb 18, 2011
- Researchers create biodiesel from microalgae grown in wastewater - Feb 18, 2011
- Grass could be bioenergy crop of the future, say Indian-origin scientists - Nov 02, 2010
- Scientists using algae to generate energy - Oct 11, 2009
- Wastewater may solve eco hurdles in algae-based biofuel production - Jan 24, 2010
- Nanomaterials contaminating soil, food crops? - Aug 22, 2012
- Edible vaccine for malaria on way - Dec 31, 2010
- Indian-origin scientist unveils new, efficient technique of biofuel production - Jul 01, 2010
- Strategy outlined for growing bioenergy while protecting wildlife - Oct 01, 2009
- Starch fibres could make for 'painless' bandages - May 03, 2012
- UK company claims it can 'grow diesel' - Mar 01, 2011
- Nanotechnology makes biofuel development a cost-effective and 'green' process - Oct 09, 2009
- More corn for biofuels would contaminate water with fertilizers and pesticides - Sep 29, 2009
- Scientists say growing grain for food, not fuel, more energy efficient - Apr 20, 2010
- Plant and forestry waste might replace a third of gasoline use by 2030 - Feb 11, 2009
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,