Rapid, Environmentally Safe Approach for Disposal of Carcass Waste

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lynntech, Inc.
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


This Phase I 'proof-of-concept' project concerns the development of a thermophilic bioreactor approach for on-farm disposal of unprocessed poultry carcass waste. Recently approved groundwater and air quality restrictions have limited or eliminated the further use of most conventional carcass disposal methods, including incineration and pit burial. Composting is currently the only available means of disposal in many areas, but this method has recently drawn significant criticism and litigation due to severe odor generation, unmanageable populations of insects and rodents, and the tremendous potential for environmental release of pathogens. Our preliminary studies have indicated that rapid, controlled, high-temperature biodecomposition of animal carcass waste can be achieved via a newly selected thermophilic culture(s) of bacteria. Importantly, virtual odorless disintegration of poultry carcass biomass was accomplished at temperatures known to effectively destroy poultry pathogens. In Phase I, we will fabricate a bench scale-reactor to characterize the critical parameters needed for continuous, rapid degradation of poultry carcasses. Chemical characterization of the system will be performed, including the composition and partitioning of the final products into the solid and liquid phases. Phase II will involve development of lyophilized seed cultures and construction of a full-scale, automated prototype for evaluation under commercial conditions.