Purrfect idea: Soybean waste could be kitty litter alternative

May 22, 2023 |

In Illinois, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research are eyeing soy processing waste as kitty litter.

In a recent Bioresource Technology manuscript, they describe a commercial use for soybean hulls and other agricultural waste that reduces the dust and smell of cat urine compared to traditional sodium bentonite litter.

The formulation that worked best was a combination of discarded hulls and amylose inclusion complex—a starchy material with antimicrobial properties. The material was turned into 1-mm biochar particles, and guar gum and mineral oil were added to ensure clumping and limited dust. 

The formulation was also able to reduce mold and bacteria growth, and further work will evaluate it for its ability to limit parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The group is also looking to partner with kitty litter manufacturers.

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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