Local inventor says biodegradable mix can help against wildfires - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Local inventor says biodegradable mix can help against dust storms, wildfires

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

Would you believe there's a way to take a by-product of the food we eat, mix it with water and create a binding substance to prevent wildfires and even help out with our dust storms?

While haboobs may be thrilling to watch, when they roll in, they can decrease visibility on the roads, cause damage and spread the spores that cause valley fever.

"It put me down for about six months so I thought, there's got to be a better way," said local inventor Dan Sinclair, describing his own bout with valley fever.

Sinclair says after his bout with valley fever, he wanted to create an eco-friendly way to see the dust settle.

"Everybody has eaten a bowl of cereal and had their cereal stuck to the side, it's like stucco, right, very hard to get off. But add a little water, and it breaks off again," Sinclair said. "That's the basis of our product."

Sinclair said he takes gluten in a powder form and mixes it with water, creating a barrier that's also good for the environment.

"You could just basically tap it, it falls off and biodegrades in the ground," Sinclair said.

Sinclair said it can also be used to prevent wildfires since it's not flammable.

"We have to improve the environment, there's a crying need for that," said patent attorney Barb Luther. She said the U.S. Patent Office is expediting patents that help the environment, so inventors like Sinclair don't have to wait years to get their products on the market.

"We can get a patent in a year or less," she said.

"FACS is definitely going to forever save lives, houses, trees and life," Sinclair said.

So far, there's been a lot of interest in Sinclair's product. He will soon go to Payson to do a demonstration for the forest service.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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