Vacaca aspires to take advantage of cellulose fibre in animal waste and transform it into new products such as paper.
In Uruguay alone, there are 3,043 dairy producers with an average of 150 cows. Each day farmers have to manage large volumes of manure which can sometimes be used as fertilizer or biogas, but the vast majority only accumulate it so that it degrades. This presents a permanent and diﬀuse source of organic pollution for nearby ponds and rivers, leading to eutrophication problems. In addition to this, the cellulose pulp in Uruguay currently comes mainly from aﬀorestation that replaces natural grasslands.
Vacaca saw this issue as an opportunity. Their plan is to extract cellulose pulp from manure to be used in various ways such as paper, textiles and plastic. The team aims to generate value from a harmful waste, validating ﬁrst the extraction process to the Uruguayan cow feeding patterns and developing later an easy to apply technology for the extraction of cellulose pulp. The validity and viability of this idea are confirmed thanks to various successful international experiences where similar methods of extraction were utilised. Vacaca is now working on identifying such technology that would optimize the process for obtaining cellulose pulp from cow manure.