Feeds

Cow poo: the building material of the future?

Sh*tty build quality

Boost IT visibility and business value

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." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.