Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neiker-Tecnalia develops new types of substrates using sewage sludge and metallurgical waste

21.03.2012
Neiker-Tecnalia, the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, has developed new types of artificial soils––Technosols to be used as growing substrates in the greenhouses.
Sludge from waste water treatment, ash from biomass combustion, metallurgical waste, and barley straw have been used . The new substrates were found to have some ideal properties for plant growth, e.g. high levels of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), high acid buffering capacity, and organic matter stability. The research has been carried out by Dr. Fenxia Yao, who has recently presented it as part of the work for her PhD thesis, which constitutes the first PhD thesis in the field of Technosols in Spain .

In horticultural and forestry production systems, the production of container grown plants has undergone spectacular development in recent years owing to the advantage it offers over direct sowing or field crop cultivation. The total volume of crop growing media consumed in the EU is reckoned to be between 20 and 30 million m3 per year, with peat covering 85-90% of market needs. As peat is a valuable, non-renewable organic material, there is great interest in the quest for blends of waste products from urban and industrial processes that can be used to substitute peat, and which at the same time contribute to an effective use of resources.

Neiker-Tecnalia researchers, in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain), have developed new types of Technosols to be used as substrates in the greenhouse cultivation. They were formulated from mixture of sewage sludge, green foundry sand (sand used in the metal foundry industry to produce moulds into which the molten metal is poured), Linz-Donawitz slag (slag from steel refining), barley straw, and biomass combustion ash. Three different types of sludge were employed: anaerobic, aerobic, and lime-treated aerobic sludge. The proportions of each ingredient were: 5% of foundry sand, 10% of LD slag, 2% of barley straw, 23% or 33% of combustion ash, and 60% or 50% of sewage sludge.

The results show that the Technosols elaborated from anaerobic sludge contained a higher quantity of primary nutrients –nitrogen and phosphorus – as well as organic carbon, whereas the Technosols derived from aerobic sludge had the lowest level of organic carbon and macro nutrients. The Technosols formulated from aerobic sludge treated with lime had the lowest availability of phosphorus, due to precipitation of phosphates with calcio.

As regards plant yields, the results show that the highest yields are obtained in the Technosols made from mixtures in which anaerobic sludge was used as the organic component. This is consistent with the availability of the nutrients existing in these Technosols. Furthermore, the bioavailability of heavy metals has been efficiently decreased in the Technosols.

A channel for scientific research

The research was carried out by Dr. Fenxia Yao, who obtained her Bachelor's degree at the Shenyang Agricultural University (China), and her Master's and first Doctor's degree in the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China). Fenxia Yao has become the first person to submit a PhD thesis on Technosols in Spain .This thesis, supervised by Dr. Marta Camps and Dr. Felipe Macías, was defended at the University of Santiago de Compostela on 31 January. It opens up an important channel for the scientific study of Technosols and their applications.

Technosols make a considerable contribution to the environment. Apart from being used as growing substrates, they can be applied to rehabilitate areas degraded by activities to extract minerals, or by public works, etc. At the same time they serve to reuse both organic and mineral materials, which would otherwise end up in landfill sites.

Irati Kortabitarte | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elhuyar.com

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>