Environmental Biotechnology

Environmental Products of
Project by: Alex Burd and Jacai
Methane Gas as Energy Source
According to dictionary.com, methane is defined
as a colorless, odorless, flammable gas, CH4 ,
the main constituent of marsh gas and the firedamp
of coal mines, obtained commercially from natural
gas. To create methane, you have to obtain it from
underground coal mines. They are 20 times better at
producing methane than carbon dioxide (CO2). In
coal mines, organic matter decays. This produces
methane when it is burned in a gas turbine. When
burned, it creates methane. From there, it is pumped
into homes in many forms including as electricity.
Then, methane is used to power electrical items
including TVs, computers and even heaters and air
conditioners. The purpose of this product is to find a
more eco-friendly alternative to help save the
nonrenewable oil in the Earth. Methane was found in
Lake Maggiore on the Italy/Swiss border by
Alessandro Volta between 1776 and 1778.
Pros and Cons:
Methane Gas as Energy Source
+ Pros
• Reduces fuel
• Reduces air
pollution, in both
local and national
• Reduces carbon
dioxide pollution
• More
- Cons
• Can be harmful if
not handled
• Can turn into a
greenhouse gas.
Plastic Products Made From Corn
Before recently, plastic materials have
been made using oil or petroleum. Now,
scientists and biologists can make these same
materials, but use USA corn to do so. To
biodegrade, the corn products take about 30
to 45 days compared to years if more of
normal plastic products. After they
biodegrade, they become natural compounds.
The purpose of these products is to become
more conscious of the environment and its
needs by reducing the amount of natural
resources used. These products are being
researched in Canada, England and the USA.
Pros and Cons:
Plastic Products Made From Corn
+ Pros
• Make less global
• Less excess waste
• Produces less
- Cons
• Cannot be mixed
with other real
plastic when
recycled; it has to
be dealt with
Biodegradable Products
Biodegradable products are made and
function exactly like normal plastic products,
but break-down quickly and compost
completely leaving no remains. These are as
strong and durable as the conventional plastic
items. They are made from renewable
cellulose wood, sugar cane, corn and grass
fibers. Biodegradable products are petroleum
free, impermeable and non-toxic. The purpose
of these products are to shrink the size of
landfills and pollution by using renewable
resources. They are currently made in
Taiwan, China and the USA.
Pros and Cons:
Biodegradable Products
+ Pros
• Decreases the
amount of trash.
• Help reach Green
Paper Products‘®
goal of a “no-trash
• The products are rich
in minerals.
• Reduces the demand
for chemical
- Cons
• May cost more
than traditional
plastic products.
The Enviro-Pigs is a genetically altered
group of Yorkshire pigs that can digest
Phosphorus better than normal Yorkshire
pigs. They make a specific type of enzyme
called phytate in the salivary glands. When
the pig chews, the phytate mixes with the
feed and the enzyme degrades the
indigestible phytate. The purpose of the
Enviro-Pigs is to produce less Phosphorus in
the pig manure. The purpose of the pigs are
to reduce the amount of Phosphorus
pollution in the atmosphere. The EnviroPigs were first developed at the University
of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
Pros and Cons:
+ Pros
• Reduces the food
cost for the pigs.
• Reduces
- Cons
• If it gets into a water
source, it will start
algae growth that
can kill many fish
Biodiesel (Bio-fuel)
Biodiesel is a bio-fuel that, in the long
run, comes from the sun. It is made of
vegetables and has no petroleum, but it can
be mixed with any amount of it to become a
biodiesel mixture. It is made during a
process called transesterification where
glycerin is separated from fat or vegetable
oil. Biodiesel is a completely renewable
energy source that can come from soybeans,
canola and mustard seeds. It has equal or
even better engine performance than
traditional diesel fuel. Also, they do not
require special storage. Biodiesels are being
made in the United States, China, France
and the Middle East.
Pros and Cons:
Biodiesel (Bio-fuel)
+ Pros
• Less toxic than
table salt.
• Breaks down as
fast as sugar.
• Decreases
emissions by 80%.
- Cons
• Can reduce the
amount of food to
• Increase in
nitrogen oxide in
Corn Products
• http://www.biodegradablestore.com/
• http://www.ecoproductsstore.com/compostable_plastic_pla_cupsbeer_cups_corn_plastic_cups_printed_cups.html
• http://www.bagwellpromotions.com/cornplastic/
• http://www.greenworld365.com/what-are-corn-starch-biocompostables-aka-plaplastics/
• http://www.green-living.com/corn-infant-bowl-and-spoon.aspx
• http://www.pacificcorn.com/
Biodegradable Products
• http://www.bpiworld.org/
• http://greenpaperproducts.com/biodegradable-products.aspx
• http://www.biodegradablestore.com/
• http://www.infobarrel.com/Biodegradable_Products_Institute_-_Why_It's_Important
• http://www.cater4you.co.uk/blog/uploaded_images/bio-straws-796431.jpg
Methane Gas
• http://www.kub.org/wps/portal/!ut/p/c0/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gPC1O
• http://www.physorg.com/news96988141.html
• http://www.bionomicfuel.com/methane-gas-can-be-harmful-if-not-contained-or-burned/
• http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=natural_gas_home-basics
Bibliography Cont’d
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enviropig
• http://www.uoguelph.ca/enviropig/
• http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/03/100330-bacon-pigsenviropig-dead-zones/
Biodiesel (Bio-fuel)
Globe Picture
• http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/Facstaff/faculty/tezer/ezer.html
1. What produces methane?
2. What were traditional plastic products
made from?
3. What is the purpose of biodegradable
4. What species of pigs are the EnviroPigs?
5. What is one negative impact from

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