A novel method for combined biowaste stabilization and production of nitrate-rich liquid fertilizer for use in organic horticulture

Amit Gross, Ofer Guy, Roy Posmanik, Pinchas Fine, Ali Nejidat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

A novel system for organic waste stabilization and reuse, combined with production of nitrate-rich liquid fertilizer was developed by manure digestion followed by volatilization of ammonia-rich gas (originating in manure extract) and its nitrification and recovery. This approach has several advantages, including biowaste stabilization and high recovery (over 60%) of manure N mainly as nitrate which is a better N form for many plants as compared to ammonium as the sole fertilizer N. Moreover, the potential utilization of different wastes as N sources in organic horticulture is possible as well as removal of suspended particles and microorganisms (including pathogens) that might otherwise clog the irrigation system and pose health risks, respectively. In a pilot-scale study, the system yielded several hundred liters of nitrate-rich (ca. 11 g N L -1) liquid fertilizer using guano as substrate. In a fertilization experiment, lettuce fertigated with the nitrate-rich extract exhibited better growth and quality compared to the common organic practice of fertigation with guano extract. The resulting stabilized biowaste was estimated as "low-risk" according to current guidelines and may be used for liming or land application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1214
Number of pages10
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Volume223
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Ammonia volatilization
  • Biofiltration
  • Biowaste
  • Fertigation
  • Nitrification
  • Organic agriculture

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