A process developed at the University of Iowa that uses sound to kill the smell in hog manure is getting closer to becoming reality. Ultra Solutions is a company formed to do field testing on the process that uses titanium tubes to pound the pig manure with ultrasonic sound waves. Company president Jim Krug says the treatment causes disintegration and homogenization of waste material and stimulates biochemical reactions in the process. The reactions reduce hydrogen sulfide emissions — the stuff that makes the manure smell. Krug says it also reduces the biological oxygen demand of the manure, that’s what sucks oxygen out of water and causes fish kills in manure spills. Krug says the treatment does this without destroying the manure’s viability as fertilizer. Krug says the technology could be used on other animal wastes and even in plants that treat human waste. He says the only thing they need is for the manure to be in liquid form. One of the biggest concerns for treating manure is the cost. Krug says they’re working now with suppliers to build the devices and he says making them affordable is a top goal. He says since it’s mechanical, customers could depreciate the equipment and he says if it’s built to last a long time, that would drive the cost down. Krug says the machine will be scaleable to meet the needs of large and small operations. He says they’re working out the final details of the system. The rest of this year will be used for testing and they should be selling the machines on a limited basis by the end of the year and full scale by next year. Krug says the field testing thus far has exceeded lab results from the tests that first developed the technology University of Iowa.
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