Free-range pig farms near coastal regions are an example of a farming practice, which has resulted in a change in the local ecosystem, which can be dangerous to humans. When the slurry from free-range pig farms is not contained and moves into the streams, which empty into the rivers, and finish in the sea, the enormous increase in nutrients in the water creates a huge population of seaweed, and this seaweed can end up on the shoreline. The noxious mess goes from unpleasant to dangerous as it decomposes, releasing hydrogen sulphide, commonly recognised by its ‘rotten egg smell’. The bigger issue is the fact that the human body detects the presence of hydrogen sulphide at less than 20 ppm (parts per million), but any concentration above that, and we as humans, no longer smell it. This makes it a very dangerous gas. Exposure to this concentration injures your lungs and can result in death.
Muckbuster™, our small scale portable anaerobic digestion plant, can offer an immediate containment of the runoff issue, by being sited at each of the small farm holdings, and processing the slurry at source. The farmer would need to contain the manure and then load it into the Muckbuster™. The biogas, which contains methane, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide is now contained and no longer poses a health risk. Muckbuster™ removes the hydrogen sulphide through a gas purification process. The biogas, fertiliser, and mulch are by-products of the process, and can be used by the farmer to create hot water, electricity, and replace fertiliser that is now being bought.
While the beach cleanup is ongoing, the seaweed is an excellent additional feed stock for our Muckbuster™. It can be loaded right at the beach into a Muckbuster™, removing the need for transport and the risks related to the transporter. The ocean iodine contained in the seaweed is widely accepted as a premium organic fertiliser element. We as humans respond well to iodine, which is necessary for proper functioning of the thyroid. Local communities can package and sell the fertiliser to offset the equipment cost and use the energy created by the Muckbuster™ to power beach operations.