Nine hundred pounds of butter, sculpted into a tribute to New York state’s dairy farmers and positioned as a centerpiece attraction at the New York State Fair, will end up fueling the vehicle fleet at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).
College scientists, in collaboration with the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc., and the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, will make the butter into biodiesel at the production facility on the ESF campus."Thirty-seven percent of the college's fleet runs on some form of renewable energy, including biodiesel," said ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr. "Using the butter sculpture is a unique way to fuel the ESF fleet."
This year’s edition, which marks the 40th year for a butter sculpture at the fair, is called Cow Jumping Over the Moon, revisiting the theme for the original butter sculpture in 1969.
After the fair’s 12-day run ends on Labor Day, the butter will be brought to the ESF biodiesel production facility. The first step is to clarify the butter to remove the water and milk proteins.
“This separates out the triglycerides, which will be split in our reactor at ESF—a process known as transesterification—that creates the biodiesel," said Dan Nicholson, a graduate student who works in the biodiesel production facility. "The conversion will take about a week.”
He said it takes about nine pounds of butter to make a gallon of biodiesel, so this year’s 900-pound sculpture should yield around 96 gallons of biodiesel. (If left in stick form, 900 pounds of butter is enough to cover more than six football fields, according to the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc.)
The work is an extension of a project already in place at ESF, in which students collect used fryer oil from dining facilities at neighboring Syracuse University and use it to make biodiesel fuel for the college fleet.
“Dairy farmers are the original environmentalists, recycling nutrients and water on their land, so it makes sense that this annual tribute to them is itself finding new life in fuel, rather than being discarded,“ says Skip Hardie, a second-generation dairy farmer, from Lansing, N.Y. “This is a fitting way to mark the sculpture’s 40th anniversary.”
“As Onondaga County's local recycling agency, OCRRA is thrilled with this innovative project,” said Kristen Lawton, Public Information Officer, with OCRRA. “Turning butter art into fuel for their vehicles is a great demonstration of ESF turning knowledge into practice! What a terrific way to reuse what was a waste in the past."
The butter sculpture is a time-honored tradition of the Fair. Since 1969, it has been the centerpiece of the Dairy Products Building, which houses the Rainbow Milk Bar, the Dairy Princess Booth, special dairy drinks, and an array of dairy products. This year’s version was created by sculptor Jim Victor; his wife, artist and sculptor Marie Pelton; and their son, Matthew, 22, a recent graduate of Elizabethtown College.
Claire B. Dunn | Newswise Science News
Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy