OK, so this isn’t quite the proverb that ‘gold’ makes it, but it’s greener! Or browner, as the case may be.
Scientists at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have found that pig manure could be an alternative to asphalt concrete for roads – as it’s oil rich, serves as a petroleum subsitute and is, well, abundant. Tarmac as used to build roads is currently made from petroleum pitch, and rock (normally sand or gravel).
The pigs of the world produce 43 billions gallons of manure every year, and as industrialising nations increase their meat intake, this number could rise. It’s cheap to buy and sustainable; and doesn’t have the usual manure odour.
Those working on the product at NCATSU have even now set up a company to market the substance, called the Bio-Adhesive Alliance. The product works by processing the manure and mixing it with rock to create a natural concrete – and it only costs 56 US cents for a gallon.
Civil Engineer Ellie Frini, who’s leading on the project, said, “It is different from petroleum refinery, which distills crude oil to produce mainly fuel and leave the residue for asphalt. Here we produce bio-adhesive from breaking bio-mass molecular structure and re-synthesizing the bio-adhesive structure. Bio-adhesive is lower in cost, requires less heat for mixing and compaction and is more durable.”
“Our vision is to help the farmer and help the construction industry, both sides. We see a win-win approach in the solution.”
Have you heard of green substitutes for everyday substances like this? What do you think to them? Let us know at @Liftshare or in the comments below!
Author Lex Barber