The funding agency HED requires periodic reports in order to assess the efficacy of each grant, and its full impact on the target group or area. Each report includes demographic information, activities descriptions, and resulting impacts. It is a helpful way to measure success in the grant institution process.
Finding New Ways to Manage Sh*t
UGA & UAC:
Integrated Waste Management with Energy Production for Increased Competitiveness of the Livestock Industry in Northeast Mexico
Ulises Triana Dominguez rises early every morning to work on his family’s dairy farm in Mexico’s Laguna region, before he heads into town for school. Lately he’s been more and more concerned with the amount of sh*t they have to deal with as a result of having so many cows. The typical way to deal with all this manure is to shovel it daily, collecting huge piles, and then have it hauled off to other areas to be spread on fields as fertilizer. But now he worries about the sheer volume of waste, releasing dangerous gasses like methane into the atmosphere as it decomposes, and leaching harmful contaminants into the ground water.
These worries are now being addressed through a USAID and HED funded grant program. Ulises won a competitive internship to study waste management and methane capture and use in state of the art labs at UGA. For five months he did lab research, visited farm sites around Georgia, and met with many related personnel. He also had the chance to dialogue with two Applied Economics professors to discuss the ins and outs of applying his technical knowledge to farms in Mexico, and all the possible impacts.
Methane capture for beneficial use is rather simple in theory; put the manure in a container, and collect the gas as it decomposes. The methane collected can be used for power and fuel. Then once the manure has completely decomposed and expelled all the methane, it is safer to use a fertilizer. However, there are many factors to consider, and technologies to explore to develop the most economical, productive, and environmentally friendly solution. The knowledge that Ulises gained in his internship at UGA was a cornerstone for the completion of his degree in Biochemical Engineering at UAC. And now he is armed with the knowledge and resources to apply a sustainable bioenergy initiative on his own farm. Goodbye fossil fuels, hello cow manure!
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