Digester can destroy deadly BSE prions

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incineration is usually the process of choice to destroy diseased animal carcasses, especially in the case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or chronic wasting disease because of the presence of prions. However, that process may not always destroy these misshaped proteins. An Indiana company has patented a process using a solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide, combined with heat, inside a stainless steel container to convert prions to harmless amino acids. The unit, which the company calls a digester, is cheaper to operate than an incinerator. USDA has purchased a unit, as has the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory which is testing the digester on deer that have been afflicted with chronic wasting disease.


Call Waste Reduction, Inc., at: (317) 484-4200.

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