Feeds

Cow poo: the building material of the future?

Sh*tty build quality

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.