Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution => Topic started by: Vadermort on 19/12/2008 15:32:59

Title: The godsent "Garbage Enzyme)
Post by: Vadermort on 19/12/2008 15:32:59
Hey all!
I recently came across this article in the papers here in Malaysia which claims that by making "Garbage Enzyme" at home, you can help reduce global warming and "save the ozone layer". Have a read!

" While a lot of tree-huggers take themselves way too seriously, Dr (H) Joean Oon carries her social conscience without being smug.

Going beyond screwing in compact fluorescent light bulbs and carrying tote bags to the grocers, the homeopathy and naturopathy doctor is tirelessly working towards bringing environmental awareness to the masses by giving free public talks . . . on garbage enzyme.

Environmental issues are important to Oon because she worries for the future generation.

“I was devastated when I found out that Malaysia was on the brink of sinking due to global warming,” says Oon at her Naturopathic Family Care Centre cum garbage enzyme headquarters in Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

“My biggest concern was for the safety of my three daughters, and I knew I had to do something, anything, to save them. That was what drove me to learn about producing garbage enzyme from Dr Rosukon Poompanvong, an alternative medicine practitioner in Thailand,” she recalls.

So how does trimming trash help to bring down the earth’s temperature?

“The production of garbage enzyme generates ground-level Ozone (O3). The O3 helps to maintain the earth’s temperature by releasing the heat trapped by the heavy metal in the clouds. If every household turns its garbage into enzyme, we can protect our ozone, live in a smog-free environment and eat food free from toxins,” explains Oon.

By mixing garbage enzyme with chemical cleaning products, Oon explains, the enzyme flowing into our drainage system will cleanse the rivers and oceans.

“We are running a campaign to encourage Malaysians to pour garbage enzyme into our rivers this Dec 21,” says Oon,

“The enzyme will help to break down the harmful chemicals."

Oon works with 10 dedicated staff to produce the enzyme and to publish booklets. She and her team have gone on garbage enzyme road shows all across Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and India.

“To date, we have given away 15,000 bottles for free because we want to encourage people to try it and eventually make their own,” she says.

Funds for the project, according to Oon, have never fallen short.

“Thanks to the public’s generosity, we have not been short of brown sugar and plastic bottles to keep the project running,” she says.  "

Apparently the method for producing "Garbage Enzyme" is really simple:
1 Part brown sugar
3 Parts organic kitchen waste
10 parts water

Mix em' all up in a plastic container, cover it tightly and keep it away for 3 months. (letting the accumulating gasses out daily is encouraged"

As a scientist wannabe, i am quite critical of this article:
1. The gramatical errors
2. No matter how many databases i look up, i cannot find a paper by Dr Oon and Dr Poompanvong
3. Both Dr's are qualified in Medicine and not science
4. The claims of its miraculous properties are questionable.
5. As this process obviously involves anaerobic fermentation probably from yeast. What i dont get is where the "enzyme" comes from. I presume its produced by the bacteria that are multiplying in the fluid. Also the fluid would be quite acidic, which means that enzymes would not particularly enjoy the environment outside the cell?
6. The article gives the impression that the production of the O3(ozone) is a good thing, when in reality, ground level ozone is toxic and a potent oxidiser.
7. Also, "heavy metal in the cloud"?
8. I dont particularly fancy the term "enzyme" as enzymes extremely specific to certain molecules? Seems more like all the corrosive compounds and nutrients are responsible for the cleaning effects. Am i along the right lines?

have a look at:
also you could probably google "garbage enzyme"

Oh is there somebody out here brave enough to shed some light on this?
Title: The godsent "Garbage Enzyme)
Post by: BenV on 19/12/2008 15:50:09
Sounds like nonsense to me.  All I can see that mixture making is some very bad beer.
Title: The godsent "Garbage Enzyme)
Post by: hoggies on 16/03/2009 06:30:21
Been using the garbage enzymes and they do work very well.  As a detergent to break down grease, as a cloths detergent, to mop floors.

I Malaysia wet markets are using it to clean down the markets at the end of each day.  results are very encouraging as the markets smell better, there are less flies and they use much less commercial detergents.  As a market they produce lots of organic waste which is being recycled to make the garbage enzymes.
Title: The godsent "Garbage Enzyme)
Post by: BenV on 16/03/2009 09:45:13
I think it's just a weak alcohol solution, probably around beer strength (3-6%) - there's no other logical substance that could be made from that mixture.
Title: The godsent "Garbage Enzyme)
Post by: Bored chemist on 16/03/2009 21:17:27
I think "garbage" is the word, but I guess that if you encourage yeasts (which generally like sugar) to grow then you might produce an envoronment that's less conducive to other organisms. If those organisms are responsible for the smell then I guess it might sort of work.
Of course, the bit about ozone is total tosh.
Title: The godsent "Garbage Enzyme)
Post by: JohnCompostCossham on 27/02/2011 14:20:50
A friend of mine sent me a link to a blog post where she waxed lyrical about 'garbage enzymes' and this was my reply:

Hi, interesting idea but flawed science. Although there are enzymes within the bacteria and yeast cells in the solution, the use of the word ‘enzymes’ here is misleading, as any enzymic activity would be within the cells not in the alcohol/acetic acid solution around them.

I have no doubt that a weak vinegar solution does help with cleaning, and if diluted, the nutrients in the solution would either help plants grow or at least not harm them.

The anaerobic conditions in the liquid will release as much greenhouse gas as the same amount of fruit/veg would in a compost heap or landfill, in fact, if aerobically composted, the same fruit peels etc might release less CO2 than the potential of methane from the ‘garbage enzyme’ pot. Additionally, every 10 litres of liquid made uses a kilo of sugar, the production of which has a large carbon footprint. No worse than the same volume of beer, though…

I have nothing against the making and use of home-made cleaners, but I’d be careful what sort of amazing claims you make about it.

John ‘Low Carbon Lifestyle’ Cossham, York, UK