2002 - Volume #26, Issue #6, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
They're Using Sound Waves To Kill The Smell Of Manure
A process developed by University of Iowa biochemist David Soll might be the answer. He subjects liquid manure to intense sound waves using titanium probes. The probes vibrate at 20,000 times per second, creating sound waves at the ultrasound level which are too high to be heard by the human ear. The rapid vibration literally shakes apart the molecules in the liquid manure. As this happens, there's a tiny implosion, releasing a miniscule amount of heat that causes a pressure build up at the molecular level.
This creates a chemical reaction that produces hydrogen peroxide and other powerful oxidizers. As these oxidizers are released, they tie up the ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in the manure, which are the main cause of manure odor.
What's more, the solids in the manure that pass through the treatment chamber are pulverized so they become suspended in the liquid and do not settle out in storage.
Major funding for Soll's research came from Heartland Pork Enterprises, Iowa Falls, Iowa. The large hog producer pitched in after officials there learned the effect Soll's process had on waste materials. As a result, while the University of Iowa owns the patent for the process, it will be licensed to a technology division of Heartland Technology, Alden, Iowa.
Kent Krause, a spokesman for the company, says they are in the process of developing and testing farm-size Sonicators, as the treatment chamber is called. They've had one system in place on a 1,350-head finishing building for six months.
Because the procedure is so simple and requires no chemicals or aeration, Heartland officials expect it to have applications beyond agriculture such as at sewage treatment plants. Because it's still in the developmental stage, the price is still a big unknown. However, Krause says it will be affordable, even when pork prices are as low as they've been this fall.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Heartland Technology, Kent Krause, 15491 State Hwy 941, Alden, Iowa 50006 (ph 515 859-7934; E-mail: kkrause@heartlandpork
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