A Basic Tutorial for
Controlling Animal Farming Pollution with Bio-Enzymes and Process Management

by Valerie Anne Edwards and Kenneth J. Edwards,. Jr.

Poor water quality in lakes and ponds impacts the lives of many wildlife species including fish, ducks, geese, animals and plants. Poor water quality is caused by the nutrient load from fertilizer runoff, chemical pollutants, and the feces and urine from animals and fish. These excess nutrients overpower the natural bacterial population that normally would keep the aquatic environment in balance in these bodies of water. Sludge develops, the alga becomes overabundant, oxygen becomes limited, the incidence of disease and stunted growth of aquatic life increases, and mortality rates soar.

A properly managed pork (or other herbivorous animal) production facility includes high density stocking, intensive feeding, and a carefully planned waste management program. According to James C. Barker, PhD, Professor and Extension Specialist Biological and Agricultural Engineering North Carolina State University, who wrote Effects of Manure Management Practices on Air Quality and Animal Performances in Swine Production Barns, publication EBE 180-93 (rev. 3/96), when the air quality is enhanced with improved management practices, including a recharge lagoon system, the producer is rewarded with medicine costs decreased by half, better feed conversion by 0.1 lb. , a reduction in mortality from 4% to 0.75%, and best of all, an increase of $3.00 net per animal in a $54.00 hog market.

In the 1980s, Alken-Murray Corporation changed the economic feasibility of bacterial treatment by offering highly concentrated, nonpathogenic, and cost-effective Alken Clear-Flo® formulas to degrade excess nutrients, chemical pollutants, and ammonia in a vareiety of environments.

Alken Clear-Flo® formulations offer up to 97% reactivation rates, for both dormant spores and vegetative strains, with rapid reproduction levels reached within five hours after reactivation. The selected, pre-adapted microorganisms in Alken Clear-Flo® are more aggressive than most pathogenic strains of bacteria already in the water.

The enzymes excreted by bacteria act as catalysts, which increase the speed of a chemical reaction without either being consumed or appearing as a product of the reaction. The equation of enzyme catalysis is often referred to as the Michaelis-Menton equation, while the enzyme-substrate complex is referred to as ES. In forming the ES, enzymes reduce the activation energy required for a biochemical reaction to occur. Alken-Murray Corporation employs the technique of exposing selected bacterial strains to successively higher concentrations of target compounds during their growth phase to induce them to alter the composition of their enzymes, enhancing their speed and ability to assimilate these target compounds. This technique takes advantage of bacteria's natural inclination to alter their enzymes so that they may survive in altered and difficult conditions.

Although crude enzyme formulas offer the advantage of instant activation, massive doses are required when compared with the self-replicating enzyme factories present in bacteria. Bacterial formulations, distributed by many competitors, utilize older technology, including "freeze-drying", which often leave the bacteria weakened after revival from the dormant state. Bacteria produced with older processes often do not reproduce well or may not be as prolific, requiring the introduction of higher doses when compared with Alken Clear-Flo®, rendering these competing products financially unrewarding. (For more details, ask for our article titled Competitor Comparisons.)


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