Radio Waves Zap Zebra Mussels

Researchers say low frequency radio waves may be a more effective way of controlling zebra mussels. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tom Scheck has the story:


Researchers say low frequency radio waves may be a more effective way of controlling zebra mussels. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tom Scheck reports.

Zebra mussels have caused millions of dollars of damage to power plants, boats and intake pipes. They’ve also seriously hurt native species in the Great Lakes and other inland waterways. Purdue University chemistry professor Matthew Ryan says he may have found a way to control the zebra mussels without harming fish or other aquatic wildlife. In the laboratory, he says low frequency electromagnetic radio waves were found to cause the zebra mussels to lose critical minerals at a much faster rate than they can acquire them.

“It ultimately kills them. There’s a stress response after a day or so. They stop feeding and begin to close their shells and after about 19 days about 50 percent of the mussels in a given population will be dead.”

Ryan says native fish and clams were not harmed when exposed to the same technique. If it’s proven effective in the wild, he says electrical barriers could block mussels from infesting other lakes and streams. For the Great Lake Radio Consortium, I’m Tom Scheck in Saint Paul.

Utilities Prepare for Summer Demand

As summer approaches power companies will brace for rising demands for
electricity. During peak demand periods in past summers, utilities have
been caught short of power. However, deregulation of the electric power
industry has led to some innovative changes. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:

Turkey Power

Manure management is a messy business. While farmers usually spread
manure as fertilizer, some are struggling to find enough land and can be
left with the costly expense of disposal. Now turkey farmers in central
Minnesota want to build the country’s first manure fueled power plant.
They say the plant will be a financial boost to farmers and help ease
the public’s concern over odor and pollution. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Kathryn Herzog reports:

Alfalfa Power

Farmers in Minnesota are growing crops for energy and constructing anew biomass power plant. It could be a big boost for rural business andrenewable energy development. But as Kathryn Herzog reports for theGreat Lakes Radio Consortium some environmental activists are concernedthe energy project may be going too far too fast:

Court Decision Gives Renewable Energy a Boost

Coal fired power plants produce two-thirds of the nation’s electricity. In the process, they emit millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. But a recent court decision in Minnesota may provide an incentive to embrace cleaner energy sources. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Frenkel has more:

Midwest Power Shortage

As summer approaches, utility companies are bracing for possible energy shortages throughout the Midwest. And with many of the region’s nuclear power plants shut down, this summer’s energy crunch could be especially severe. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Frenkel reports:

Incinerating Chicken Waste Provides Energy

Chickens raised on U.S. poultry farms produce nearly twentymillion-tons of manure every year. That waste is difficult to disposeof and can pollute water supplies. Now one British company thinks it’sfound a profitable way to manage that manure. The Great Lakes RadioConsortium’s Steve Frenkel has more: