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Organic Waste Stream Management for Rural Communities & Small Farms

A dependable and efficient solid waste disposal system may be a positive renewable alternative for small farms and rural communities.

This session held at four locations throughout Wisconsin will discuss the concept of biodigestion, the technology used for small-scale farms along with sustainability and financial viability information.

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In the News

The Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) has been busy!  Take a look at the articles, media clips, and other links listed below to view current news involving the ERIC lab and its staff.


Crossroads: Program gives info on droppings management

Green Bay Press Gazette, 16 March 2015

...Some farms have so many cows, they produce more solid waste than a small town.

Oh. my. I don’t even want to think about that much manure, but many people are thinking creatively about exactly that. Some large producers have actually built wastewater treatment plants. Other large farms have developed digesters.

“Using the biogas available in manure and turning it into electricity has become common at larger dairy farms, reducing phosphate contamination from farm run-off and creating higher quality compost/fertilizer,” according to the Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. “The process also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers."... Click here for full article.


Side-by-side, UWO, middle school scientists explore STEM, renewable energy research in ‘Kilowatt’ camp

UW Oshkosh Today, 08 Aug 2014

“Renewable energy” can probably seem like a fairly abstract concept to middle school students.

… Until you ask them to jam bits of onion and other organic material into a “reactor” soda bottle and predict whether the resultant biogas (if there is any) is methane-rich. It’s basically a baby biodigester, not unlike the building-scaled version at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

“They cool thing is they know all about wind power and solar power,” said Nilay Sheth, senior research scientist in UW Oshkosh’s Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) labs. “But when I asked them about ‘biomass,’ they didn’t have a clue. They didn’t hear about that as much. That was really more of an eye-opener for them.”

“Eye-openers” in renewable energy is what “Capture Some Kilowatts!” was designed for.

Sheth and other ERIC lab team members offered plenty during UW Oshkosh’s first-ever “Capture Some Kilowatts!” summer science camp, a one-week immersion into renewable energy for up to a dozen middle school students, supported by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and coordinated through ERIC, the UW Oshkosh Office of Science Outreach and the institution’s Renewable Energy Institute.

Click here for full article.


UW Oshkosh Today, 22 May 2014

“I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity,” Patt said. “I brought back a lot of knowledge and experience I can use in my job at the ERIC lab.”

Patt works in the Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) lab at UW Oshkosh as a lab technician doing chemical and biological testing for the biodigester, as well as water testing for counties in Northeast Wisconsin.  Click for full article.


UWO research fueling start-up algae venture

August 21, 2013

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh microbiologist Toivo Kallas, along with research assistant Mathew Nelson, presented their latest findings at the sixth annual Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium for using blue-green algae and the sun’s energy to turn carbon waste into biojet fuel.  Read more...

UWO Biodigester team studying new bioplastics' potential

It’s an exciting, potentially revolutionary future involving “bio-based plastics,” or “bioplastics.” And it is not so far from reality. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is turning to its student and faculty scientists to determine just how possible it is. Read more...


Reason No. 1 to attend UWO's 2012 Homecoming...

The University shows its Titan Pride at the ERIC where we are "pioneers" of water, biosolids, and biogas testing.  See Video


$1 million grant to restore beaches

All Lake Michigan beaches in the area were clear and open today, but that hasn't been the case all summer and so UW Oshkosh is sharing in some federal money to redesign some of the beaches. High bacteria levels forced closures and swim bans.  Read more...


EPA Releases More Great Lakes Beach Grants

Eight Wisconsin beaches along the Great Lakes will be re-designed to reduce pollution, or separate it from beach goers. The money for the projects is coming from a fund that faces an uncertain future beyond next year.  Read more...


EPA grants UWO another $1 million to make beaches safer

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced seven Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants – including two for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh – totaling more than $2.6 million, to improve water quality at Great Lakes beaches in Michigan and Wisconsin.  Read more...


Testing to begin to see whether swimming can resume at Bay Beach

Swimming was banned at Bay Beach in the 1930's because of pollution. Now, the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission has received a federal grant to study the water quality at the former swimming area. So, U-W Oshkosh water quality specialists are starting a one-year testing program on the area.  Read more...


Turning shells into sand

An effort is underway to clean up area beaches. That's what one Pulaski-based inventor hopes to do to do by turning zebra mussel shells into sand. Read more...


by Bogden Muetzel, Michelle S. last modified Mar 24, 2015 08:36 AM
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