Taking a page from “Charlotte’s Web” which was reviewed recently by my blogging friend Emily at www.emilyjanuary.wordpress.com, I felt the first web message from Charlotte the spider of “Some Pig” was appropriate about an innovative idea courtesy of Bio-Adhesive Alliance (BAA). BAA, a spin-off company from North Carolina A&T University, has won both the ACC Clean Energy Challenge and Charlotte Venture Challenge for an inventive and replicable use of pig manure. Combining pig waste with crushed stone, BAA has developed a liquid asphalt that can be used in road repair work. For more on the story, please click on the link to The Charlotte Observer article from last week:
As reported in The Charlotte Observer, BAA beat out 100 competitors for first place awards totalling $125,000. The judges noted BAA’s solid understanding of the market need, coupled with a replicable idea and executable plan that carried the day. The Department of Transportation loves the idea as the product is far cheaper than petroleum products, so more repair work can be done at lesser cost. Plus, pig manure when unused would reside in huge lagoons of muck, that are not helpful for the environment in such massive, centralized quantities. This has also presented problems when flooding due to hurricanes or stalled weather systems occurred, as the lagoons would bleed into the water supply. Some of the waste is being used in biofuels, yet the “dare I say” appeal of this use, is it is very replicable and cost-effective.
This was the second good eco-energy idea I read about out of NC in the past week. The NC Biofuel Center has had success using reed grass found near the shore to convert into Ethanol. Apparently, these reed grasses contain three times as much ethane potential as corn and are in abundance. Plus, we can use corn more for what it is intended and find the ethane from other forms of plants such as the reed grasses. Innovation is the key to unlocking our renewable energy future and when I see ideas like this that are not only inventive, but are scalable and sustainable, it gives me hope that we can shed our significant reliance on fossil fuels. These ideas can be showcased to others, while gleaning elegant renewable eco-energy ideas from abroad.
Now, if we could only find us more pigs like “Wilbur” and protectors like Charlotte the spider, BAA’s solution will grow and we will be able to repair many more roads while filling fewer waste lagoons. That’s “Some Pig.”