Feeds

Cow poo: the building material of the future?

Sh*tty build quality

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Researchers at Michigan State University think they have come up with a new way of disposing of some of the millions of tons of cow manure produced in the US each year: use it to build with.

More specifically, they are advocating using sterilised cow manure to replace sawdust in making fibreboard. This is a most useful construction material indeed, as anyone who has ever watched Changing Rooms will be able to attest. It finds its way into housing, flooring, shelving and furniture.

Farmers in the US are under pressure to find new ways of dealing with their cow pats. It can cost $200 per year to process the production of a single cow, so some farmers are facing a very big bill every year.

Part of the problem, according to Wired, is that speading manure on fields is attracting complaints from the locals. Presumably from the newly downshifted refugees from the cities, rather than real locals who must surely be unable to smell the stuff after years of exposure.

But intensive farming is making it more difficult as well, as farms can have more cow poo than they can possibly spread around on their relatively small landholdings.

Instead, cow dung is being processed in anaerobic digesters. The scientists propose using the solids from these digesters in place of the traditional sawdust. It would be mixed with resin, heated, and compressed in the same way. Tests of the finished product so far suggest a quality at least equal to that of board made with wood.

Charles Gould, a researcher at Michigan State's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, told Wired "It appears that the fibers interlock with each other better than wood. We end up with, I think, a superior material." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.