Agricultural potential of anaerobically digested industrial orange waste with and without aerobic post-treatment
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific › peer-review
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
The potential of anaerobically digested orange waste with (AAD) and without (AD) aerobic post-treatment for use in agriculture was evaluated through chemical analyses, short-term phytotoxicity and long-term plant assays. Chemical analyses showed that AD contained ammonia and organic acids, and aerobic post-treatment did not significantly remove these phytotoxins. The N:P 2O 5:K 2O ratio in AD was 1:0.26:0.96 and aerobic post-treatment did not change the composition in AAD except for K 2O (1:0.26:1.24). Heavy metal contents in AD and AAD were more or less the same and were below the upper limit recommended for non-sewage sludge application on agricultural soils. Short-term phytotoxicity tests showed that seed germination and root elongation of Chinese cabbage and ryegrass were severely inhibited at digestate concentrations of 60-100%. Germination index values were well below the score of 50% required to indicate the phytotoxic-free nature of compost. Long-term plant assays showed that AD and AAD, when supplemented with a base fertilizer, resulted in higher plant growth, and fresh weight and dry matter production than AD without base fertilizer. The results thus indicate that aerobic post-treatment did not have any significant beneficial effect on reducing phytotoxicity, and AD could be used as such on agricultural soils, especially with high P.