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Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark

Combined Waste Resources As NPK Fertiliser [UPDATED]



Desert soil is one of the most severe conditions which negatively affect the environment and crop growth production in arid land. The application of organic amendments with inorganic fertilizers is an economically viable and environmentally comprehensive method to develop sustainable agriculture. The aim of this study was to assess whether milk tea waste (TW) amendment combined with chemical fertilizer (F) application can be used to improve the biochemical properties of sandy soil and wheat growth. The treatments included control without amendment (T1), chemical fertilizers (T2), TW 2.5% + F (T3), TW 5% + F (T4) and TW 10% + F (T5). The results showed that the highest chlorophyll (a and b) and carotenoids, shoot and root dry biomass, and leaf area index (LAI) were significantly (p p




Combined Waste Resources as NPK Fertiliser



Abstract:When soils are phosphorus (P) deficient, external sources in the form of fertilisers have to be applied to increase crop yields. The world depends on mined sources for P fertilisers, and recent reports indicate that an increase in the human population has led to rising demand for P fertilisers, making its future supply uncertain. A low supply of chemical P fertilisers may lead to food insecurity. Although the efficacy of organic sources of P is unclear, organic waste materials containing P can potentially replace inorganic P sources. Previously, organic fertilisers have been used to supply N and even P, but the application rates were mostly N based, resulting in inconsistent and comparable results. This research was conducted to understand P mineralisation and the availability of the P-based organic fertilisers. The results showed that available P in the soil at 3 weeks accounted for 50%, 6 weeks accounted for 49%, and 9 weeks counted for 46% of the maize yield. The organic P sources maintained soil available P above the threshold available P value in Malawi. The P sources did not affect the maize P use efficiency (PUE). The results indicate that organic P sources could be used as an alternative fertiliser for maize production in Malawi.Keywords: organic waste; faecal sludge; organic phosphorus; phosphorus use efficiency; Malawi


Insect production is expected to dramatically grow in the next few years due to the increasing need of finding alternative sources of protein. Given the zero waste context and the need to contribute to the circular economy, it is necessary to capitalize on all components of the insects, including their frass. This study indicates that frass has a great potential to be used as a partial or a complete substitute of mineral NPK fertilizer. Indeed, due to its rapid mineralization and its high content in readily-available nutrient, frass has similar effectiveness to supply N, P and K and sustain biomass production than NPK fertilizer. In addition, compared to mineral fertilizer, water soluble P concentration is up to five times lower in the presence of frass, which prevents P from loss and sorption onto soil constituents. Most importantly, the presence of frass may increase microbial metabolic activity and diversity, suggesting a better soil functioning, especially when frass is combined with mineral fertilizer.


Tammy Logan is the author of Gippsland Unwrapped, a blog about maximising resources and minimising waste. Based in Gippsland, Tammy combines 20 years of qualifications and work experience in conservation biology, natural resource management, science communication and community engagement with her dairy farming roots to deliver practical sustainable living solutions. Tammy works in collaboration with community groups, businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies throughout Gippsland (and beyond) to deliver waste education and advice. Tammy wants to prove that living sustainably results in a more meaningful life and that individuals can be a strong force for positive change.


Some are trying to end their fertiliser use altogether, while others are looking at how to reduce the amount of nutrients lost by optimising fertiliser application and management. And others are trying to recover lost nutrients from waste, where they can be recycled back into the farm.


Instead, Vaneeckhaute uses anaerobic digesters to break down the waste into solid and liquid fractions. The solid fraction looks just like compost, she says, and can be treated further and used as an organic fertiliser. The liquid fraction can be treated to extract compounds into a mineral fertiliser that can be used in place of synthetic versions.


Phosphorus is an essential building blockof life. It is an irreplaceable part of modern agriculture, as there is nosubstitute for its use in animal feed and fertiliser. The current situation,involving waste and losses at every step of the phosphorus life cycle,contributes to concerns about future supplies and water and soil pollution,both in the EU and worldwide. With efficient production and use, as well asrecycling and minimisation of waste, major strides could be made towards thesustainable use of phosphorus, thereby setting the world on a path towardsresource efficiency and ensuring that reserves are still available for thegenerations to come.


Phosphorus resources are relativelyabundant globally and reserves are significant. However, there are severalfactors that together mean that for the EU, the issues affecting the securityof supply should be monitored. Firstly, within the EU, there are only smallreserves of phosphate bearing rock. Secondly, there has been recent pricevolatility - in 2008, prices of phosphorus rock rose by 700% in a little over ayear, contributing to increases in fertiliser prices. Thirdly, there is littlescope to switch from less important uses of phosphorus, as the essential use offeed and fertiliser already consumes around 90% of the total mined resource.Improving the use of recycled phosphorus in the EU and worldwide would helpsafeguard the supply of this fundamental raw material and encourage a more evendistribution of phosphorus at both regional and global level. Economically,diversifying the supply of phosphate to the EU businesses that depend on itwould improve their resilience faced with any future price instability andother trends that might aggravate their import dependency.


Addressing these issues is notstraightforward. Regions in the EU with arable crop production tend towards astabilisation in soil phosphorus levels, but continue to depend on theapplication of mineral phosphate fertilisers. Intensive animal production isconcentrated in specific areas close to ports, major population centres andavailable labour and expertise. This concentration has led to an oversupply ofmanure into these regions, with a gradual build-up of the phosphate content ofsoils and increased risks of water pollution. Likewise, the growth of majorcities means that phosphorus containing sewage and food waste is increasinglydistant from the arable farms where it might be used following appropriatetreatment.


Some statistical information on fertiliseruse worldwide is collated by the FAO, but this does not cover phosphate rockresources and reserves. Company phosphate rock reserves are widely covered forcommercial purposes by the Australian JORC[10]code or equivalent, which is an industry standard for classification andharmonisation of reserve descriptions, but this is not designed as a basis forthe compilation of national or international reserves. The reference source forsuch information has always been the United States Geological Survey (USGS),but between 1990 and 2010 the USGS statistics were not fully updated withinformation from non-governmental sources. As noted above, in 2010 theInternational Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) reported new, significantlyhigher estimates of reserves based on industry information, and in 2011 theUSGS updated its resource estimates accordingly[11]. These figures, and thedefinitions of resource and reserve from the USGS, have been used whereverpossible in this paper. Figure 2 shows the change in the estimates of reserves.


In the longer term, a number of factorsindicate that demand is likely to continue to grow. The world population ispredicted to rise to more than nine billion people by 2050. This, combined withchanges in dietary habits, has led the FAO to predict a demand for 70%[15] more food by that date, if thecurrent unsustainable trends persist. In turn, this is likely to mean more landin agricultural production, and/or greater intensification on existing farmland. This will then drive demand for fertiliser.


Sustainable use of phosphorus goes widerthan the issues around that one element. When phosphorus is wasted, the energy,water and other resources contributing to its production cycle are wasted alongwith it. In addition, phosphorus ending up in water bodies causes its ownenvironmental problems, notably in the shape of eutrophication. Figure 4 showsthe scale of inefficiency along the chain.


Excess phosphorus, mainly from intensiveagriculture and horticulture is a major cause of eutrophication of lakes andrivers. Uncontrolled or poorly controlled waste water from human excreta andother household uses, as well as industrial pollution, also contributessignificantly to these problems. Mineral fertiliser is less often the cause ofthe regional imbalances that are symptomatic of these problems, but can be acontributing factor in some regions. 041b061a72


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