Research to Pasteurize Manure Featured at Chesapeake Bay Day
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Don Comis, (301) 504-1625, email@example.com
September 22, 1999
BELTSVILLE, Md., Sept. 21--Agricultural Research Service administrator Floyd
P. Horn announced today the start of an experiment to see if pasteurization
is an effective means of killing E. coli, Cryptosporidium parvum and other
pathogens possibly lurking in cow manure, to make sure it can be used safely
to improve soils.
"N-Viro, International, of Toledo, Ohio, has loaned the U.S. Department of
Agriculture patented equipment used to pasteurize biosolids--the solids
remaining after wastewater treatment," Horn said. "The equipment turns the
sludge into 'N-Viro Soil,' a product that meets the strictest federal
standards for safe biosolids."
Horn said N-Viro moved the equipment--a vertical and horizontal silo with a
manure hopper and mixing bins in between--to a composting facility at USDA's
Beltsville (Md.) Agricultural Research Center. He said the equipment mixes
recycled materials like cement or lime kiln dust, coal ash from electric
power plants, and gypsum with manure. A natural chemical reaction occurs
when the lime or other high-calcium material hits the manure, creating heat,
ammonia and high pH that kill pathogens.
The equipment can be seen on a tour of the composting facility as part of
the first Beltsville Chesapeake Bay Day activities on Sept. 28 at the
research center, operated by ARS, USDA's chief scientific agency.
Horn said Patricia D. Millner, research leader of the Soil Microbial Systems
Laboratory in Beltsville, has begun experiments to compare pasteurization
with composting. Millner said she will assess each system for its ability to
kill pathogens and control odor. She will also test a hybrid system that
combines quicker composting with the pasteurization technique.
Millner said she wants to see if the pasteurization process will also
convert phosphorus in manure to a form less likely to leach into streams and
rivers. "We will also test the addition of materials such as alum residue
from wastewater treatment plants for their ability to stabilize phosphorus
in manure," she said.
Horn said if the experiment works it could help areas such as the Chesapeake
Bay both by preventing the escape of pathogens and phosphorus and by
providing a safe outlet for two materials found in excess in Chesapeake Bay
coastal areas: high-phosphorus chicken litter and harbor dredging spoils.
"We will try pasteurizing chicken manure in a mixture of dredging spoils to
convert the spoils into a substitute soil for reclamation of road cuts,
strip mines and other degraded soil sites that need topsoil for plant
growth," he said.
A complete agenda and free online registration for the Beltsville Chesapeake
Bay Day is on the World Wide Web at:
Scientific contact: Patricia D. Millner, Soil Microbial Systems Laboratory,
ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Md., phone (301)
504-8163, fax (301) 504-8370, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504- 1617, fax 504-1648.
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