ASU, Army team up for renewable energy

Published 4:07 pm Sunday, December 6, 2009

special to the democrat

LORMAN — Arranged by Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves, Dr. Girish Panicker, director of the Center for Conservation Research at Alcorn State University had a detailed discussion with Rep. Bennie Thompson and state senators recently about he possibility of establishing agriculture-based industries in Claiborne and Jefferson counties.

The center is interested in conducting research to bring the practical application of the inventions claimed in the U.S. Army’s patents for production of renewable energy from animal waste for organic agriculture.

Email newsletter signup

In recognition of the oustanding organic research conducted by the center on horticulture crops with animal waste, the U.S. Army has issued license to Alcorn for implementation fo the patents.

This new technology produces a slow release and environmentally-friendly compost, fertilizer struvite and composted organic matter.

Scientists of Alcorn, the U.S. Army, USDA and Mississippi State University will be involved in this research and production program. This multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research program is based on an agreement between Alcorn and the U.S. Army.

Livestock production is an important industry in Mississippi. Livestock farms of Mississippi include about 750,000 beef cattle, 60,000 dairy cattle, 160,000 horses, 500 million broilers and 325,000 hogs annually.

The state is the fifth largest producer of broilers and ranks 15th nationally in egg production. These livestock produce an estimated 7.3 million tons of animal waste annually.

“If implemented, Mississippi will become the first state in the nation to produce this commercial fertilizer struvite from animal waste,” Panicker said. “Production and marketing of these by-products from animal waste will boost organic crop production, bring additional income to the livestock farmer, create employment opportunities, industrialize these counties and improve the economy of Mississippi.

Thompson asked Panicker to continue working with the mayors, the team of senators and staff to develop the program for considerations.