Mercy' College's Bio-Digesters Lead to Gardens

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School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Professor Dr. Thomas Culhane is using a byproduct of the bio-digester as a fertilizer to grow vertical gardens.

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Culhane said: “This relatively easy system will be an easy way to feed the world’s poor.”

Mercy College has long been doing research with bio-digesters, a system that turns garbage into gas to be used as fuel in a home. Now School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Professor Dr. Thomas Culhane is taking that research one-step further. Culhane is using a byproduct of the bio-digester as a fertilizer to grow vertical gardens. The liquid bioslurry from the bio-digesters is a sort of “compost tea,” a liquid fertilizer that is now being used in SSBS to grow an array of vegetables.

Culhane said: “There is no need for soil when you use hydroponics or aeroponics – all you need is this compost tea. The liquid that comes out of our ‘food-waste-to-fuel-and-fertilizer’ biogas system is perfect for growing nutritious fruits and vegetables, so we never need to buy anything. This relatively easy system will be an easy way to feed the world’s poor.”

National Geographic has been featuring Culhane’ s work. Click here to watch Culhane tend to Mercy College’s tower gardens on biogas slurry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f7D9RoRmRY

To learn more about Mercy's School of Social and Behavioral Sciences click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3Le2CwvrTw&feature=youtu.be

About Mercy College
Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a private, not-for-profit higher education institution that offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five prestigious schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College offers an engaging and personalized learning experience that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. The Mercy College PACT is the first program of its kind and now serves as a nationally recognized model for mentoring. http://www.mercy.edu/ 877-MERCY-GO.

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Catherine Cioffi
Mercy College
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