Feeds

Cow poo: the building material of the future?

Sh*tty build quality

High performance access to file storage

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." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.