Zebra Mussels Process Manure

Early research at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, found the zebra mussel removes solids and some nutrients from diluted liquid swine manure.The researchers found a 90% improvement in the amount of suspended solids in the liquid manure. The mussels also appeared to reduce odor.The zebra mussel, considered a detriment to freshwater ecosystems, is a natural water filter. It constantly

Early research at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, found the zebra mussel removes solids and some nutrients from diluted liquid swine manure.

The researchers found a 90% improvement in the amount of suspended solids in the liquid manure. The mussels also appeared to reduce odor.

The zebra mussel, considered a detriment to freshwater ecosystems, is a natural water filter. It constantly pulls water through its body, filtering out nutrients it needs to live. The remaining particles are coated in a mucus-like film called pseudofeces, which settle out of the water.

Researchers now are trying to determine if the mussels or the pseudofeces have value as a plant nutrient. Researchers also are looking at how to include the mussels in a waste-treatment system.

Researcher: Dick Steffen, Southern Illinois University (618)453-6985.