Aug 232013
300px-Zeolite-ZSM-5-3D-vdWA simple mixture of organic waste, such as chicken manure, and zeolite, a porous volcanic rock, has been developed into a powerful fertiliser which can also reclaim desert or contaminated land.

Food and biofuel crops could be grown and maintained in many places where it wasn’t previously possible, such as deserts, landfills and former mining sites, thanks to an inexpensive, non-chemical soil additive.

The additive, a simple mixture of organic waste, such as chicken manure, and zeolite, a porous volcanic rock, could be used to support agriculture in both the developed and developing world, while avoiding the serious environmental consequences associated with the overuse of chemical fertilisers. The mixture permits a controlled release of nutrients, the regulation of water, and an ideal environment for growing crops.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated that with the addition of the biofertiliser, biofuel crops can be successfully grown and – more importantly, sustained – even on coal waste highly contaminated with metal residues.

Using coal waste from the site of a former colliery in Nottinghamshire as a substrate, the researchers grew rapeseed, flax, sugar beet and maize, with different additives: manure, zeolite, lime, or biofertiliser, as well as coal waste alone and regular garden soil. Plants grown in the coal waste with added biofertiliser achieved nearly twice the weight and yield of those grown in garden soil or in coal waste with added manure, and more than twice the weight and yield of those grown in coal waste with added zeolite. The results are published in the August issue of the International Journal of Environment and Resource.

The coal waste contains chemical elements that can be ionised by the biofertiliser, making nutrients which are essential to growth available for uptake by the plants. As the organic waste in the mixture decomposes, it produces ammonium ions which build up on the surface of the zeolite. When the mixture is added to soil, it boosts the population of micro-organisms responsible for nitrification, which is essential for plant nutrition. The biofertiliser also helps plants develop dense root systems which stabilise the soil against erosion.

In addition to the coal waste, the team is working with marginal soils, such as those in desert climates, which normally require large amounts of water and chemical fertilisers in order for plants to grow. Control experiments have shown that water held in the zeolite increases the moisture content of soil in desert conditions. After initial watering, early-morning dew is held in the pores of the zeolite and released during the hottest part of the day. Plants grown with the biofertiliser achieve greater weight, and in the case of fruits and vegetables, a better taste, than those grown with chemical fertilisers.

Read more . . .


The Latest on: Biofertiliser
  • 10th Anniversary Year a Good One for Biofertiliser Certification Scheme
    on December 8, 2017 at 6:46 am

    The Biofertiliser Certification Scheme for UK anaerobic digestion operators has reported a record 67 participants as of December as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. The Biofertiliser Certification Scheme (BCS) for UK anaerobic digestion operators has ... […]

  • REA Biofertiliser Certification Scheme marks ten years with record membership
    on December 8, 2017 at 5:33 am

    The Biofertiliser Certification Scheme (BCS) has marked the end of the tenth year since its creation by reporting that a record 67 anaerobic digestion (AD) plant operators are now signed up to the scheme. The increased membership reported by the BCS, which ... […]

  • Lord Deben: “Anaerobic Digestion Central To Policy Goals”
    on December 8, 2017 at 1:26 am

    AD recycles organic wastes and processes purpose-grown energy crops into renewable heat and power, clean transport fuel, and digestate biofertiliser, which can help to restore nutrients and organic matter to soils. Lord Deben said: “We’ve had a long ... […]

  • Forget turning straw into gold, farmers can turn trash into energy
    on November 3, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Bioenergy, such as biogas, gives flexibility to intermittent power like solar and wind, while reducing waste and creating a home source of biofertiliser. When you boil it down to basic science, food and fibre are just stored energy. Beyond the animals and ... […]

  • RCF Chembur to get new biofertiliser unit
    on March 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    MUMBAI: The chemicals and fertilizers ministry has decided to set up a biofertilizer unit on the land belonging to the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) in Chembur. It wants to use biowaste generated by Navi Mumbai as feedstock for making compost. […]

  • Boost to biofertiliser market could aid farmers
    on July 30, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Following changes to the certification of biofertiliser, more high-quality digestate is set to enter the market. Updated specifications, PAS 110, published today (Wednesday 30 July) by the British Standards Institute, will enable more AD plants to achieve ... […]

  • The biofertiliser option
    on January 6, 2013 at 7:43 am

    India, a country once importing nearly half of its foodgrain requirement, had taken enough pains to become self-sustainable and an exporter of foodgrain. The Green revolution of 1966-67 in India was led by the input-responsive crop varieties which ... […]

  • Farmers learn biofertiliser benefits
    on July 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Sustainable agriculture experts are touring regional Western Australia to show farmers the benefits of 'farm-made' biofertilisers. A recent workshop in Pemberton discussed how biofertilisers can enable farmers to be less reliant on increasingly expensive ... […]

via Google News and Bing News

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: