12-10-2009, 03:14 PM
Turning a dead cow into something resembling a jar of molasses may sound like a bad science fiction movie, but the reality is the groundbreaking technology should have far-reaching benefits for ranchers, packing plants and the environment.
It's called thermal hydrolysis, a process that uses high temperature saturated steam and pressure to get rid of infectious proteins and other micro-organisms in animal carcasses and other organic waste.
And developer Biosphere Technologies is preparing to build the world's first pilot demonstration plant at Lacombe after 14 years of research and clinical trials of its patented Biorefinex process. The resulting ooze is...
12-10-2009, 03:16 PM
Bye-Bye to Burning Bad Beef? -
Researchers Develop New, Safer Means of Disposing 'Mad Cows'
The bodies of dead cattle infected with mad cow disease are usually burned to destroy the misshapen proteins suspected of causing the brain-wasting ailment � although there are doubts whether this is safe, cost-effective or environmentally sound.
But an Indiana-based company, set up by two professors from Albany Medical College, now claims to have an effective alternative. You don't have to go further than your kitchen sink to understand the science.
Their company, Waste Reduction by Waste Reduction Inc., says that by using the kinds of chemicals that go into a drain-clearing product such as Drano, they can safely break down the suspected disease-causing proteins, known as prions.
Prions are misshaped proteins believed to cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. They eat at the brain tissue of cattle by forcing proteins performing other jobs to take their shape, resulting in a chain reaction.infectious particles known as prions, believed to cause BSE, or mad cow disease.
Incineration has been the popular method to destroy the carcasses of afflicted cattle. But researchers say tests have revealed that the prions � like the mythical phoenix � survive and can emerge from the ashes.
Waste Reduction claims its pressure cooker-like machine, dubbed a digester, not only breaks prions into harmless amino acids but emits no toxic gases and operates at a fraction of the cost of an incinerator.
The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison is working with the USDA to test the digester on deer carcasses infected with a prion disease similar to mad cow.
Rendering is the process of reducing the remains of cow carcasses into smaller pieces to be used in animal feeds.
A Well-Understood Process
In the digester, a big stainless steel container, a solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide is poured over the carcass.
Heat is applied and the chemical reaction, which also produces heat, then reduces the mass into a slurry for tests.Through this method, proteins, nucleic acids and infectious microorganisms are converted into a sterile solution of sugars and small peptides, which are chains of amino acids that in turn form proteins.
Operating costs for the digesters, about 25 cents per pound of carcass, is lower than that of incinerators, which can cost 80 cents to a $1 a pound due to high fuel costs.
Let's send one to Gitmo.
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12-11-2009, 09:57 AM
Sounds like a great way to do BBQ Beef.... Eat your heart out PETA.
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