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Elephant, horse and cow **** could be sustainable sources for a key element needed to manufacture paper, a new report claims.
In nations where trees are few and far between the dung could come in especially handy.
Report - Researchers - Chemical - Society - ACS
The new report was produced by researchers at the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The idea for the unusual use of elephant and cow **** first came to mind when researcher Dr Alexander Bismarck noticed something strange about goat **** while vacationing in Greece.
Goats - Grass - Conclusion
He observed some goats eating summer-dry grass and came to an interesting conclusion about what they digest.
Dr Bismarck said: 'I realized what comes out in the end is partially digested plant matter so there must be cellulose in there. Animals eat low-grade biomass containing cellulose, chew it and expose it to enzymes and acid in their stomach and then produce manure.
Animal - Percent - Manure
'Depending on the animal, up to 40 percent of that manure is cellulose, which is then easily accessible.'
Therefore, turning the partially digested material to cellulose nanofibers would take much less energy than using raw wood, Dr Bismarck concluded.
Chemical - Treatments
Additionally, it would require fewer chemical treatments.
The study said: 'After working with goat manure, [the researchers] moved on to dung from horses, cows and, eventually, elephants.
Supply - Material - Parks - Africa - Hundreds
'The supply of raw material is substantial: parks in Africa that are home to hundreds of elephants produce tons of dung every day, and enormous cattle farms in the US and Europe yield mountains of manure.'
The researchers used a sodium hydroxide solution to treat the manure they tested, which partially removed lignin, among other...
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