BIOREMEDIATION TO THE PIGPEN It was a stinky summer at the EnviroPork hog facility near Larimore, N.D., with penalties pending for violating state odor regulations, and neighbors complaining loudly about the foul fragrance. Making matters worse, the manure lagoon associated with the facility threatened groundwater supplies. Happily, researchers from the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) had a low-tech solution: barley straw. Using a cannon, they shot a foot-thick straw covering over the two-acre manure lagoon. It worked so well in containing and eventually dissipating the odor that they built a barley-straw wall to dampen odor from the hog barns. Why barley? "The straw probably creates surfaces for adsorption. Barley straw works best because of its waxy coating. It is very water resistant, and doesn't sink easily. Other straws become saturated and sink," explains David Rush, a research associate at EERC. Presumably, barley straw harbors bacteria...

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