17 Jun 2011:
Researchers Use Fly Larvae
To Remove Organic Waste on Large Scale
Spanish researchers have developed a process that uses fly larvae to rapidly break down animal waste on a large scale
while simultaneously producing biomass that can be re-used for numerous purposes, from animal feed to the production of biodiesel fuel. In a pilot project launched at the University of Alicante, researchers say they’ve been able to breed large numbers of the larvae of Hermetia illucens
, a tropical fly species that can process and remove 90 percent of the organic matter from animal waste. In tests, researchers say, 20 million larvae have been able to ingest one ton of waste per day. When the larvae reach a certain size, they are separated from the waste and the leftover biomass is re-used for other purposes, including as a raw material for biodiesel, or as feed for aquaculture systems. The researchers say the process is much faster and more effective than conventional composting techniques, and could be used to process human waste, as well.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.