Texas feed yards are sitting on a huge amount of a potentially valuable energy source: animal manure. And researchers at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station are working to help operators produce the best possible product for power.
At a spring meeting in Hereford, Texas, Dr. Brent Auvermann of Texas Cooperative Extension described some considerations that feed yard owners should take into account before attempting to sell their manure. It is a particularly important proposition in the Hereford area, since Dallas-based Panda Energy has built an ethanol plant there that it plans to fuel with up to 1,500 tons of manure each day.
According to Auvermann, purity is the most important factor in using manure as a fuel source. Ideally, manure scraped from feed pens should contain less than 60 percent ash, which includes dirt, and less than 20 percent moisture to produce an effective fuel. One way to boost the quality of manure is to pave soil-surfaced pens with crushed ash or fly ash from coal-fired power plants, Auvermann says.
According to Panda Energy, its Hereford plant will provide about 60 full-time jobs and inject an additional $200 million in annual income into the local economy over 10 years.
For more information, contact Dr. Brent Auvermann, email@example.com.
A 1,000-foot skyscraper planned for the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai will feature 68 separate floors, each capable of rotating independently upon voice command, to follow the sun, catch a favorite view or just rotate slowly for amusement’s sake.
If the $350 million project succeeds, Italy-based Dynamic Architecture hopes to produce similar buildings in other cities, including New York.
For more information, contact Dynamic Architecture, firstname.lastname@example.org
A $10 DNA replicator
A Texas A&M University graduate student has invented a device that could open up the world of DNA testing to developing nations.
The device, created by A&M student Nitin Agrawal, costs less than $10 to build and runs on AA batteries, yet it can copy DNA strands in as little as 20 minutes. DNA replication is used in tests that diagnose or monitor diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and cancer.
For more information, contact Nitin Agrawal, Texas A&M Department of Chemical Engineering, (979) 845-3361