Feeds

New road made from pigsh*t in Missouri

Porcine dandruff almost sty-mies chocolate highway plan

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Planet-friendly pigfarm barons in Missouri have come up with a brilliant new plan for disposing of their porcine portfolios' pungent poo output. They have developed a process which turns pigshit into road tarmac.

The St Louis Post-Dispatch has the story, describing pigmuck tech kingpin Kent Schien's 10-year quest to quell the horrific stench emitted by his in-laws' hog farm near Hannibal, Missouri.

At first the former McDonnell Douglas engineer, head of engineering company Innoventor, simply installed pong-purging filter systems in the ventilation exhaust fans of his relatives' swine sheds. But in time he came to feel that merely stifling the piggy niff was unambitious: the vast lakes of pigshit produced at hog farms ought in some way to be a revenue source rather than a waste product.

If any way could be found to monetise the brown gold belching from American pigs' back ends at a terrifying 8 pounds per day per animal, the bacon barons of Missouri would truly be sitting pretty.

Schien assigned crack poo engineer Rick Lux to the task, and Lux rose manfully to the challenge. Initially looking to develop a plop-based biofuel, he sought a way to speed up the millennia-long process by which Nature turns decomposing animal and plant matter into crude oil.

The Innoventor team developed a pigshit "reactor" which applied massive heat and pressure to speed up the 10,000-year natural timeline. Initially their efforts were sty-mied, however, by fiercely abrasive piggy body hair and dandruff found in the feculent feedstock, which brought pumps and other machinery to a grinding halt.

Once the dandruff problem had been cracked, it was found that the resulting oil was too thick and heavy for use as a transport fuel, rather like the heaviest fractions of crude oil. However, heavy oil is far from worthless - it's used to bind asphalt together to make roads and hardstandings.

It was a big day for Schien and Lux when their poo-reactor product was officially certified as a "lower-grade asphalt binder" by the Missouri Department of Transportation. This has allowed them to move forward with an actual field test this week, in which pigshit topping was used to create a 500-foot stretch of road leading to Six Flags, St Louis.

The Post-Dispatch quotes dumptruck driver Mike Cain, during operations with the molten plop-top material, as commenting:

"Smells nasty ... But I live in the country; I'm used to it."

"Whew!" choked another unnamed worker, apparently stricken speechless by the odour at the construction site.

Once allowed to cool and harden, however, the chocolate highway is apparently no smellier than any other stretch of asphalt. Innoventor and the Missouri state engineers will now monitor the pigshit pavement for durability, skidmarks etc in coming months.

Lux for one is confident that his poo-street backend boulevard brainchild will prove sturdy enough for wider deployment.

"We'll keep going ahead," he told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday, as steamrollers ironed out the solidifying turd-tarmac (turdmac?) behind him. "We've shown this stuff can be processed at the farm, processed at an asphalt plant and put down on a road." ®

Bootnote

Thanks as ever to Reg reader Mike Richards for the tip.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.