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INL researchers working to remove and convert waste to help environment and military

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Pizza is a food so popular, research says about 43 million people eat at least one slice of it each day. Unfortunately, grease and oil keeps cardboard pizza boxes from being recycled.
Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory are finding ways to remove those contaminants, and the results can help both the environment and our military.

By using special machines and a powerful solvent, the oil and grease can be removed even though they are normally impossible to fully remove. That will make things like pizza boxes and peanut butter jars recyclable. Through a special process, some waste can be turned into macro-nutrients for soldiers.

"What they're doing is producing something similar to a Vegemite…something that is a microbial mash. It's a paste,” DARPA project principal investigator Dr. Jeffrey Lacey said. “It's probably not going to be good, but it will be edible."

Since it can often be difficult and dangerous to get more rations to soldiers, they need to be as resourceful as possible. If soldiers can be sent out with light-weight equipment to turn waste into something edible, they can mix it in with their rations to help stretch them out.

More information about this research can be found HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Noah Farley

Noah is a reporter for Local News 8.


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