Converting Styrofoam into Co2 using Meal Worms.

Friendly_Grower

Well-Known Member
How interesting!

I came upon some interesting news today.
Something I think I will try out.
Have any of you used meal worms to generate C02 in the Grow-Room?

An ongoing study by Stanford engineers, in collaboration with researchers in China, shows that common meal-worms can safely biodegrade various types of plastic. Meal Worms Eat Plastic
In another web page Things in your Compost they have a great read and a video. Meal Worms eating Styrofoam
A study at Stanford University showed that 100 worms converted around half of the Styrofoam into carbon dioxide (as they do with other foods) and then excreted the rest of the material as degraded fragments that look similar to animal droppings. The waste appeared to be safe to use on crops.
I don't know about using the droppings to grow organic weed but maybe it would be okay in a vegetable garden?

The question is "would this improve the C02 in a closed grow-room?"
I suppose there would be a couple of chickens in the process eating excess darkling beetles but hey.. What do you think?
They can make C02, reduce plastics in our environment and feed chickens that lay eggs.

I did not know about this.
What do you think?

Friendly_Grower
 

Friendly_Grower

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info. after a little duck duck going, I now think it was one of these darkling beetles I recently squooshed.

I think the problem is according to this the darkling beetles will hatch and then eat your plants if they get out, which is counterproductive! https://composthq.com/composting/are-mealworms-good-or-bad-for-compost/
Oh yeah that is a given!
They will eat anything green.
The trick is to not let them out and feed them to a chicken or grind them up and feed them to Black Soldier Fly larva. The food web of life.
Don't need that many parents in the cage I suspect unless there is some benefit.
I'm interested in exploring this.
That doesn't mean it's a green light red light thing. (Oh yeah binged watched Squid Game )
It's not every day something interesting like this gets my attention.
The articles mention a different species than the "regular meal-worms" but both eat plastic and produce Co2.
 

Friendly_Grower

Well-Known Member
Yeah, looks like Nature finds a way.
As an experiment I've put the meal-worm project on the bucket list.
I have a lot of irons in the fire so to speak but this sounds interesting indeed.
Got to be willing to murder some beetles but I think I can do it.
Blended beetles poured into the compost tumbler may be a good thing.

LOL

Friendly_Grower
 

kratos015

Well-Known Member
Interesting.

Many things produce CO2, but is it a substantial enough amount is the question I have.

I've seen some grows in sealed rooms that have so much soil in it that it actually raised CO2 levels, by substantial amounts in some cases. One guy was running like 6 4x8x2 raised beds in a sealed indoor room and his CO2 ppm was always between 1200-1500 just from the CO2 the soil was putting out. That was tons of soil though, 4x8x2 bed is ~ 2 cubic yards of soil. That's 12 cubic yards total, or ~2430 gallons of soil. Insane.

I've tried for years to find this guy's journal again, but to no avail. One of the most amazing grows I'd ever seen. He started with multiple 200g fabric pots and eventually evolved into full blown raised beds.

I've had the same thing happen in the past, but nowhere near 1000-1200ppm. Closer to 500ppm for me, 600-700ppm after 30-60 minutes of me working in the room.

Normal red wrigglers produce CO2 as well if I recall? However, even multiple bins isn't enough to raise PPMs more than by a couple hundred at most. Figure meal worms would be the same?
 

Friendly_Grower

Well-Known Member
Interesting.

Many things produce CO2, but is it a substantial enough amount is the question I have.

I've seen some grows in sealed rooms that have so much soil in it that it actually raised CO2 levels, by substantial amounts in some cases. One guy was running like 6 4x8x2 raised beds in a sealed indoor room and his CO2 ppm was always between 1200-1500 just from the CO2 the soil was putting out. That was tons of soil though, 4x8x2 bed is ~ 2 cubic yards of soil. That's 12 cubic yards total, or ~2430 gallons of soil. Insane.

I've tried for years to find this guy's journal again, but to no avail. One of the most amazing grows I'd ever seen. He started with multiple 200g fabric pots and eventually evolved into full blown raised beds.

I've had the same thing happen in the past, but nowhere near 1000-1200ppm. Closer to 500ppm for me, 600-700ppm after 30-60 minutes of me working in the room.

Normal red wrigglers produce CO2 as well if I recall? However, even multiple bins isn't enough to raise PPMs more than by a couple hundred at most. Figure meal worms would be the same?
I have no clue just what would happen.
I did however score a couple of Autopilot to try out so I might get a clue on Co2 when the new room is ready and running.

What can I say? The Meal-Worms eat Styrofoam. I think I just gotta see that for myself.
It most likely will not scale.
I don't know.
 

MICHI-CAN

Well-Known Member
I have no clue just what would happen.
I did however score a couple of Autopilot to try out so I might get a clue on Co2 when the new room is ready and running.

What can I say? The Meal-Worms eat Styrofoam. I think I just gotta see that for myself.
It most likely will not scale.
I don't know.
I raised meal worms to feed my Leopard and Tokai geckos. I had to sticky trap beetles in a 42 gallon tank. Crazy reproduction rates. And will eat and reproduce almost anywhere warm and damp.
 

Friendly_Grower

Well-Known Member
I raised meal worms to feed my Leopard and Tokai geckos. I had to sticky trap beetles in a 42 gallon tank. Crazy reproduction rates. And will eat and reproduce almost anywhere warm and damp.
I take it your 42 Gallon Tank was the home of your pets?
Do they get big enough for chickens to eat?
The BEETLES naturally.
 

MICHI-CAN

Well-Known Member
If they were allowed to stay in the cage how long do you think they would live?
That size is interesting given the meal-worms seem bigger.
Small june bugs. The cycle is perpetual if you feed the mealies. I did not try. Bought a large batch for cheap. Tried to gut load with shredded root vegetables and high vitamin C child's breakfast cereals. Fruity whatever. Nothing, my fish, reptiles or amphibians would eat the beetles.
 

Friendly_Grower

Well-Known Member
Interesting.

I have an interest. Not to change the subject exactly but I have larvae of the Black Soldier Fly in my compost tumbler.
I do agree it would be a serious problem if say 100 beetles got into the garden.

I think I could do this just to see it happen but dump everything miles away at anytime. LOL
 
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