Scientific Society Gives Prominence to Covenant Faculty’s Research Publication
A research publication by Professor Solomon Oranusi of the Department of Biological Sciences at Covenant University, has received a rave review by the American Chemical Society (ACS), a United States-based scientific society that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry.
The publication originally titled, ‘Bioconversion of Tithonia diversifolia (Mexican Sunflower) and Poultry Droppings for Energy Generation: Optimization, Mass and Energy Balances, and Economic Benefits’, but dubbed “Turning chicken poop and weeds into biofuel” by the ACS, was one of the five research publications reviewed by the scientific society in its latest press release.
While acknowledging that one strategy for dealing with poultry poop is to turn it into biofuel, the ACS said that scientists (Professor Oranusi and colleagues) have now developed a way to do this by mixing the waste with another environmental scourge, an invasive weed that is affecting agriculture in Africa.
Chicken droppings, according to the report, can contain nutrients, hormones, antibiotics and heavy metals and can wash into the soil and surface water. To deal with this problem, scientists have been working on ways to convert the waste into fuel. But alone, poultry droppings don’t transform well into biogas, so it’s mixed with plant materials such as switch grass.
“Solomon U. Oranusi, Samuel O. Dahunsi and colleagues wanted to see if they could combine the chicken waste with Tithonia diversifolia (Mexican sunflower), which was introduced to Africa as an ornamental plant decades ago and has become a major weed threatening agricultural production on the continent.
“The researchers developed a process to pre-treat chicken droppings, and then have anaerobic microbes digest the waste and Mexican sunflowers together. Eight kilograms of poultry waste and sunflowers produced more than 3 kg of biogas — more than enough fuel to drive the reaction and have some leftover for other uses such as powering a generator. Also, the researchers say that the residual solids from the process could be applied as fertilizer or soil conditioner,” the ACS stated.