New York, June 2 :
You may find it bizarre, but for people living in drought-hit areas this new method that could turn cow manure into safe drinking water for the livestock may bring much cheer.
The McLahan Nutrient Separation System (MNSS) is an anaerobic digester combined with an ultra-filtration system, and an air-stripping and reverse osmosis system that extracts energy and chemicals from cow manure to produce water that is clean enough for livestock to drink, as well as fertiliser.
“If you have 1,000 cows on your operation, they produce about 10 million gallons of manure a year,” said Steve Safferman, an associate professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering at Michigan State University.
“About 90 percent of the manure is water but it contains large amounts of nutrients, carbon and pathogens that can have an environmental impact if not properly managed,” Safferman added.
The process goes beyond a typical digester, as it extracts nutrients from the manure that can be harmful to the environment and can be re-used as fertiliser.
Currently, the system produces about 50 gallons of water from 100 gallons of manure.