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View Diary: Cleaning Up Chesapeake Bay Through Potty Training (36 comments)

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  •  Are the chickens different? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    National Lead in St. Louis offered to build higher smokestacks and lengthen discharge pipes into the Mississippi so as to spread their pollution out.

    Air and water regulators thought it best rather to pollute less and National Lead is no more.  Monsanto went into another line of work.  St. Louis is much cleaner these days.

    The Chesapeake Bay can be too. And the Baltic Sea. And all bodies of water and the air too.

    I have never been inside a factory farm for chickens and eggs.  Don't want to be.  They sound horrible.

    Beside the point really.

    Chicken manure and cow manure and hog manure and even people manure can be a source of energy and fertilizer or a source of pollution.  

    There is no need to be inhumane to the animals but that is a somewhat different subject.

    Best,  Terry

    •  actually, (7+ / 0-)

      you are not supposed to use manure from an omnivore or carnivore for fertilizer, because of risks of infection - like the E. coli in spinach. So cow and chicken manure could be okay, but not hog and certainly not human.

      The thing is, multi-crop farming used to use the fertilizer from the animals to grow the crops. It was, indeed, a good use of the waste. But with increased reliance on single source factory farms, there is no need for the use of this waste as a fertilizer, because chicken farms just grow chickens. Meanwhile, down the street, the corn fields need fertilizer, but since the corn farmer just grows corn, the farmer needs synthetic fertilizer, which becomes another source of the nutrients.

      It's a big problem.

      If you've ever been over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, you will drive past these incredibly long low barns that are packed with chickens. The coops are stacked up, one on top of the other, and so the waste drips down - onto the lower birds, onto the eggs. And on a hot day, you can't drive around in some of those areas with the windows down, the odor is overpowering.

      Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

      by stitchmd on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:07:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Surely, Doc (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stitchmd

        you are not supposed to use manure from an omnivore or carnivore for fertilizer, because of risks of infection - like the E. coli in spinach. So cow and chicken manure could be okay, but not hog and certainly not human.

        But it is very different extracting the chemicals from manure vs. spreading manure on the fields.

        Some manure is even dried and burned for power with the ash still available for use.  Not the highest and best use but beats the alternative.

        Best,  Terry

        •  extracting (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dufffbeer, nswalls, Fabian

          would be a great idea, if feasible. The situation with the chicken farms is bad; what I've read about hog farms it seems to be even worse, with open pits of waste that can smell up a whole region - and not good ways of dealing with it.

          Right now, most fertilizers are petroleum byproducts - so you know what kind of problems that raises.

          If there were an energy efficient way of extracting the necessary chemicals, it could be a good thing, perhaps. Need some good engineers out there, maybe, to work the problem.

          Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

          by stitchmd on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:19:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Patent Application (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dufffbeer

            Low oxygen biologically mediated nutrient removal

            Abstract

            The present invention is directed to a substantially odorless biologically mediated treatment process for solid and liquid organic wastes. The present invention also provides for a novel nutrient rich humus material produced from the biologically mediated treatment process. The bioconversion process of the present invention results from low electron acceptor concentrations and high quantities of microorganisms in a diverse microbial community.

            See here.

            •  The Particular Patent Application Is Just One Of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dufffbeer

              many methods of dealing with manure in a responsible manner.

              Anaerobic digesters are an ancient method that has been around for centuries.

              Technology is not just theoretical but being applied in limited fashion.

              Polluters, of course, would prefer to pollute unhindered but the nutrient trading credits provide the carrot that may be more effective than the stick of lax law enforcement

              Best,  Terry

          •  Omnivore waste can be used (4+ / 0-)

            as a good source of fertilizers, in fact it is one way in which organic communities use their communal waste. Of course what you do not do is spread it straight, untreated onto the fields as seems to be the case in "managing" waste in much of the USA which appears to believe "manure" is a polite form of "dung". To become manure, it has to be processed and, in the classic manure heap, temperatures rise sufficiently high to kill off any infectious diseases thus rendering it safe to use. For wet waste, the use of anerobic digesters is increasingly popular in Europe where there are strict controls on the release of pollutants. See this introduction to a lecture earlier this year.

            The methane gas produced in the process is used first to fuel the plant and, secondly to provide a means of producing electricity. It can also be used to dry the remaining solids to be marketable as an effective fertilizer. That final drying would kill off any possibly remaining hazards.

            •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

              The methane gas produced [by anaerobic digesters] is used first to fuel the plant and, secondly to provide a means of producing electricity.

              The better and higher use is to produce a bio natural gas after fueling the digesters.  Takes some processing - scrubbing and condensing.

              How so?  Don't utilities just burn the gas to produce electricity?

              Whatever the case, whether through efficiency or monopoly power, the utilities get more for their juice.

              The U.S. has developed advanced technology over that employed by Europeans.  But we prefer to burn coal and pollute the environment with the manure.  Too much bother to do otherwise.  Besides organic is the in thing.

              Best,  Terry

              •  Not sure what you mean (0+ / 0-)

                Methane s "a bio natural gas", indeed it is THE biogas produced by anaerobic digestion.

                What it is possible to do is use most of the methane to produce electricity in a combined heat and power unit, using the "waste" heat in this case to warm up the slurry to the required temperature for digestion or to help dry out the solids.

                The electricity is far more portable than having to transport the gas to a utility. This would either have to be by pipeline (expensive and capital intensive) or, more likely, by road transport. Either way, the inefficiencies resulting would far outweigh the benefits of using a gas from a renewable source.

                •  Natural gas is quite different from the methane (0+ / 0-)

                  that comes from digesters and landfills.

                  The methane from both the latter is too "dirty" and needs to be condensed to approximate the natural gas from wells.

                  The electricity is far more portable than having to transport the gas to a utility.

                  The utility owns the line.  

                  Best,  Terry

      •  Hell and Paradise (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        If you've ever been over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, you will drive past these incredibly long low barns that are packed with chickens. The coops are stacked up, one on top of the other, and so the waste drips down - onto the lower birds, onto the eggs. And on a hot day, you can't drive around in some of those areas with the windows down, the odor is overpowering.

        How nice.

        CAFO's can be a house of nearly unimaginable horrors or places where even the odors are reduced to nearly being undetectable by the most sensitive organ of our body.

        It is all up to us.

        Best,  Terry

      •  Google "Synagro" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gooserock, stitchmd, A Siegel

        ... they spread sewage sludge on farms.

        Human shit; lightly processed.

        Supposedly, the farm on which it is applpied, at least in Maryland, has a state-approved "nutrient management plan."

        In fact (based on the Maryland Dept of the Environment's own court testimony) all they look for in a nutrient management plan before approving a sludge permit is whether or not it's signed by an "approved" plan preparer.

        Then there's the Synagro Bribery Case in Michigan.

        Then there's the Maryland Sewage Sludge Task Force, which is rewriting sludge permit regulations.

        As a "Public Body" it's supposed to advertise its meetings, hold them in public, and publish minutes.

        Ooops. There were four unpublicized meetings, and three of them HAVE NO MINUTES. After being reprimanded by the Open Meetings Compliance Board they started obeying the law, although it's still a "regulated industry writing the regulations" task force.

        Is anyone from the Eastern Shore on this "task force?" No.

        Is Synagro on this task force? Yes. They attended every meeting, usually two people and sometimes three.

        So yes, chicken farms are a problem, but there's ANOTHER problem.

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