Web Zap*Germs Archive

April 18, 2006

Killing Bacteria in Manure Reduces Pollution

Many US farmers maintain a manure lagoon, filled with cow manure to which water is added. The mixture is mixed and then sprayed on crop fields as fertilizer. Great way to recycle cow pies, but some of the bacteria-laden mixture runs off into streams -- or even into wells -- and the whole mess stinks.

Technology may change all that. Buzz Hoerr of Colchester, Vermont is president of ElectroCell Technologies. He's developed a new technology that kills the bacteria in liquid manure, which allows more of the manure's nutrients to be absorbed by field crops. It also cancels out most of the odor.

Hoerr's company is making portable machines to treat the manure, and has sold one to Green Mountain Power for $75,000. The utility will allow area farmers to test the technology. University of Vermont researchers are testing the technology nearby farms, as well.


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