Innoventor, a St. Louis-based design-build company, using a grant from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, has engineered a device that recycles pig waste for durable road paving and roofing products. As reported Kristen Hinman in the November issue of The Atlantic, the company says the need for stinking manure lagoons can be eliminated, as can some reliance on fossil fuels.
The processing machinery is said to function much like a pressure cooker does, creating a certain temperature and pressure at which solid excrement is converted to bio-oil . At the same time, the wastewater is saved and can be converted into a liquid fertilizer.
Innoventor’s Swine-Manure-to-Energy unit appears to be odorless, reports hog producer, Rick Rehmeier, whose barn is being used for testing by Innoventor. He has 10,000 hogs that produce over 5 million pounds of excrement annually. Traditionally, most of this has gone to waste.
Innoventor describes provides this perspective of the manure-to-energy business: “The future state of confined animal farming is to utilize a “Manure to Energy” process. In this process, the solid and liquid waste is used to generate an economically sustaining energy source, and the odorous contaminates in the air stream from the cooling fans are removed. There are thus three aspects to the “Manure to Energy” process: solid waste utilization, liquid waste conversion, and airborne waste removal.”
Rick Lux, an Innoventor engineer, said Innoventor could produce almost one pound of oil per pig each day. He adds the converted product can be used in the asphalt binder market.
Innoventor is not merely looking at pig excrement for material. It is looking at other forms of waste, including human excrement. On its website, Innoventor describes itself as a progressive, entrepreneurial design/build engineering firm diversified in five major industries. Our core competency is leveraging cross-industry experience and cutting edge technology to provide innovative solutions for our customers.