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Monday, June 10, 2013 - 3:15pm

Mercy College Students to Showcase Biodigester Technology At Clearwater Festival

Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. – June 5, 2013–  Mercy College students working on biodigester technology have been invited to the 2013 Clearwater Festival by Clearwater Executive Director, Jeff Rumpf. 
Mercy College visiting faculty researcher Dr. Thomas (Taha) Rassam Culhane and members of Mercy College’s club ENVISAJ (The Mercy College Environmental Sustainability and Justice Club) will be showcasing the College’s biodigester technology at the festival and spreading their message about environmental sustainability. 

The 2013 Clearwater Festival
Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16
Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

The Clearwater Festival is an annual festival that features music, dance, storytelling, food, crafts and environmental education exhibits. Started by Clearwater founder and folk music legend Pete Seeger, the festival is produced by environmental organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. The proceeds from the festival support Clearwater’s environmental research, education and advocacy to protect the Hudson River and surrounding communities.

 A biodigester is an oxygen free tank which digests kitchen scraps using the microbes found in animal waste or lake mud. Inside the digester, the scraps and waste decompose without oxygen producing an environmentally friendly bio-methane gas. This bio-gas, can be used in normal gas appliances with slight modifications for cooking, lighting and heating. Students at Mercy College are researching the household-scale biodigester. 

 Mercy College has two household-scale biodigesters under the supervision of Dr. Culhane.

Dr. Culhane says, "I was a member of the Clearwater Club when I was a student at Dobbs Ferry High School. I remember meeting Pete Seeger and I remember him saying to go out and spread the message of global sustainability. To now bring my students to the festival to share their research is bring it all full circle. I am excited to bring a technology that has saved so many lives and improved the environment in Asia and Africa to my home and widen the dialog to embrace the entire Hudson Valley."

 Student researcher, Jennifer Giovinazzo, says, "This simple technology can save lives! Turing organic wastes into fuel and fertilizer eliminates the use of firewood, charcoal and the dumping of sewage into bodies of water. We can prevent sickness throughout the world and improve the health of women and children."

Click here for more information on the 2013 Clearwater Festival.