Two Indonesian high school student have impressed judges at the national Science Project Olympiad with their ingenious air freshener made from from cow dung. Believe it or not, the organic product actually has a pleasant plant-like fragrance.

Dwi Nailul Izzah and Rintya Aprianti Miki managed to surpass 1,000 other participants at the Indonesian Science Project Olympiad (ISPO), held at the end of February, in Jakarta, and won gold medals for their original invention – an environmentally-friendly air-freshener made from cow manure. I know, that’s probably one of the last ingredients you’d expect to find in such a product, but according to the judges and everyone else who had the chance to sniff the girls’ air freshener, it has a surprisingly nice herbal fragrance. But it wasn’t just the smell that won Dwi and Rintya points. Their natural air freshener contains none of the chemicals found in similar commercially-available products, and it’s also more affordable. While a conventional 275-gram air freshener costs 39,000 Indonesian rupiah ($4), a 225-gram can of cow dung air freshener costs just $21,000 rupiah ($2). The two young inventors are getting ready to showcase their unique invention at the International Environment Project Olympiad (INEPO), in Istanbul, and are getting ready to file for a patent.


To make the manure air freshener, Dwi Nailul Izzah and Rintya Aprianti Miki collected the necessary material from a cattle farm in Lamongam, East Java, and let it ferment for three days. Then they extracted the water from the fermented manure and mixed it with coconut water. Finally, they distilled the liquid to eliminate all impurities. The whole process took 7 days, which is pretty long, but in the end they obtained what they were looking for – a liquid air freshener with an herbal aroma from digested cow food. “Our air freshener is not supplemented with chemicals to smell fragrant, it’s pure and smells like the natural plants fed to cows,” Dwi Nailul Izzah said. “It’s also healthier because it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients such as benzo acetan, like most other air-fresheners on the market”.


I must confess I’m pretty intrigued by the idea of a cow dung air freshener, and regardless of how you may feel about it, you have to admit it’s a huge leap forward from the canned cow farts that proved such a big hit in Europe a few years ago.