Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cow Dung Innovation - Scientists Transform Cow Dung Into Fiberboard

Researchers estimate that there is between 1.5 and 2 trillion pounds of unclaimed cow manure lying about the US, much to the chagrin of farmers and folks who live nearby. The substance can be used for many purposes: mulch, potting soil, college pranks, and fertilizer; but scientists need more ideas on how to effectively get rid of the stuff.

Scientists at Michigan State University have developed a way to transform cow dung into fiberboard, which can be used in flooring and furniture, They say "fiber from processed and sterilized cow manure could take the place of sawdust in fiberboard, which is used to make everything from furniture to flooring to store shelves."

On that topic, I went online to find out if there was a How-to Use Dung (HUD) network, similar to DIY, that has a Martha Stewart or Tim Allen-type program presenting the many uses of dung for the home and garden, but could only find out that Domain name, DUNG.Info, is currently for sale and "Dung.org" is selling Mom and Dad gifts (Our culture has come a long way since Wally and The Beaver left Mayfield). ISCOWP.org lists more than 101 uses for cow dung, including brass polisher, pond PH balancer, tooth polish, and skin tonic. Then, there's PoopSenders.com with the following testimonial:

I sent a pile of poop to my neighbor that lets her dog shit in everybody's yard. She must have gotten the message because now she carries a plastic bag around with her and actually cleans up after the dog. She never did that before. Thanks for a job well done. Anon, San Francisco.

I am convinced that someone like Martha could delicately put dung to good use making lovely holiday gifts for friends and family. A talented Mega Builder could use cow manure as fuel to run a combustion engine. A veterinarian could start a product line of "Phantastic Pheromones," something a chihuahua would swoon over, and use it for animal husbandry. Spencer's could replace its annual Christmas box of Deer Turds.

Sacred Cow Dung? A whole religious movement could be founded and tons of it shipped overseas. How about dung as a substitute for those non-recyclable Styrofoam peanuts? Kids love to play with the stuff too, you know? I bet they can even come up with a good blend for earth toned Silly Putty.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur with a great idea on how to get rid of all the dung around here, you can contact Michigan State University's Science Department with some insight (you could also have been a contender on "American Inventor").

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