Innoventor, an Earth City-based company, got a $1 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency last year to build a pressure cooker-like contraption that reduces pig waste into bio-oil that can be used to make asphalt, among other things.
Former Riverfront Times staff writer Kristen Hinman has the story in the current issue of The Atlantic. If the Swine-Manure-to-Energy Unit catches on, it would reduce the need for smelly manure lagoons and decrease the $11-million asphalt industry's dependence on fossil fuels. Someday, it's even possible that human shit can be converted to bio-oil as well.
For now, a prototype Swine-Manure-to-Energy Unit is in operation in a barn on Rick Rehmeier's hog farm in St. Charles County. Last April, road crews laid down 300 feet of pig-shit pavement on I-44 near Six Flags.
"I was out there twice on my hands and knees, putting my nose to the pavement," Innoventor engineer Rick Lux told Hinman. "The road does not smell."
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.