Bioproducts and the Environment Stories
Sawmill residuals, the materials left over from lumber, are piling up at sawmills and becoming problematic in recent years. In the past, these byproducts were sent to pulp and paper mills, but mills have moved from the United States to South America and Asia, and there is less overall demand for paper products as people are reading more on electronic devices. In response to this issue, Dr. Rubin Shmulsky, department head of the FWRC’s sustainable bioproducts department, is working to find alternative uses for sawmill residuals. Shmulsky found that one of the most viable uses for these residuals, in combination with nitrogen, is for soil amendment. Dr. Hamid Borazjani, a sustainable bioproducts professor, sought to find the optimal ratio of sawmill residuals to nitrogen to create the most effective compost for agriculture or vegetable gardens.
Moreover, Borazjani said, is that since nitrogen is found in poultry waste, combining these two waste products results in a new product that is useful and can make a difference in three major Mississippi industries: timber, poultry, and agriculture.