SMP 2105 Cowdung based biobased composites for sustainable products

In India cows are distributed and owned by farmers across in rural India. There are also gaushala (cow sheds) run by the government to house cows in semi-urban and urban India, which consists of approximately 69% of the population. But despite a centuries old ecosystem for dairy in India, the country faces a range of different problems because of cow dung.

The Netherlands has a very organized and centralized system of Dairy that is highly efficient in its milk and meat production. But being a small nation with high concentration of cows, this excess cow dung has led to:

- GHG emissions from surplus cow dung produced in the Netherlands and collected as slurry

- Nitrates and phosphates polluting the groundwater

- Livestock feed accounts for >70% of the agriculture produce leading to high protein diet for cows which inturn leads to more nitrogen in the dung

- Reducing the size of their livestock may be the only way to handle surplus cow dung if we don't find urgent cleantech innovations for it

If through a material innovation, we can utilize the surplus cow dung and generate value added products like sustainable material composites and/or finished products, it can fuel the circular economy in both the Netherlands and India.