11 August 1997
Oxygen takes the pong out of slurry

UK scientists have discovered that pumping oxygen into slurry reduces the smell of the faeces-based cocktail by up to 90%.

A three-man team of scientists at the Harper Adams Agricultural College in Newport, Shropshire, have successfully reduced the offensive smell of slurry which is a cocktail of animal excrement and water sprayed over fields to nourish crops.

The method has been so successful that the team have started to market it commercially. Equipment to treat slurry at a dairy farm with between 80 and 120 head of cattle would cost a few thousand pounds.

By forcing oxygen into the slurry silos – known as aeration – researchers found the process was dramatically accelerated and led to a 90% reduction in the smell.

Scientists said the original aim of the project had been to reduce pollution to watercourses caused by slurry spraying and that the “reduction in odour was an added bonus.”

  • The Sunday Times, 10/08/97, page 4