Development of Horticultural Containers from Anaerobically-digested Cow Manure

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2007-33610-18633
Agency Tracking Number: 2006-00566
Amount: $317,525.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
PO Box 636, 324 Norfolk Rd., East Canaan, CT, 06018
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Perry Gardner
 (860) 824-7524
 pgardner06024@comcast.net
Business Contact
 Matthew Freund
Title: President
Phone: (860) 824-7524
Email: benjamin.freund@snet.net
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Freunds Farm has developed an innovative process that transforms cow manure into valueadded, biodegradable containers for horticultural use, called CowPotsO. These CowPotsOturn manure from a burden into a profit center. Work performed to date has demonstrated that small quantities of pots can be molded from manure that offer the desired characteristics of biodegradability and decomposability, penetration of plant roots through pot walls, and nutrient content. However, the solids separation and bio-gas fuel source need to be researched to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing processs. A horticultural evaluation is needed after any process change to insure product acceptability in the market place. The work performed under this grant will characterize the solids separation process and bio-gas fuel use needed to efficiently run a CowPotsO manufacturing facility. Prototype CowPotsO will be fabricated using Freunds Farms existing manure digester and pulp molding equipment. The CowPotsO will be tested in University and farm settings. This project will give farmers an alternative for managing manure with environmental and economic benefits-creating jobs and sustaining farms in the process. CowPotsOcan displace plastic pots, reducing a disposal problem and dependence on foreign oil. Market studies show that 45% of gardeners are very interested in manure pots, a market potential of 175 million small pots alone. Other new products, including larger size pots, rolled mulches, and weed control disks can be developed. Long-term opportunities include technology transfer agreements and product licensing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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