Kombucha scoby reduces E. coli in dairy effluent I Seth Laurenson, AgResearch

What started in a search to make ‘bioplastic’ with a scoby that is used in making Kombucha, AgResearch scientists found it could help kill E. coli. in dairy effluent ponds.

“The scoby decreased the water to a very low pH so then we hypothesised you could potentially use it as an anti-microbal mechanism in effluent,” explains Seth Laurenson, AgResearch

One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker is Seth Laurenson, senior scientist at AgResearch who explains:

  • Seth’s scientific research has been in effluent and wastewater and says that effluent, when applied in perfect conditions, is fine, but that’s not always the case with weather and can leach and affect the water quality of aquifers and streams so by lowering the E. coli levels can provide farmers with more flexibility.

  • After discovering they could drop the pH of dairy effluent making it more acidic, the next challenge is to drop the alcohol with bio-engineers to make it safe for distribution on the soil.

  • AgResearch’s 'Curiosity Fund' supports proving concepts quickly and delivering early to see innovations work with people that can add to the progress of the technology.

Learn more about AgResearch's effluent research in this Farmer's Weekly article

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