Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wastewater from the canning industry is not harmful to the agricultural soil

23.12.2004


Irrigation with wastewater from the canning industry is not harmful to the quality of agricultural soil and may even, in some cases, improve it. This is the conclusion of Iñigo Abdón Virto Quecedo in his PhD thesis defended at the Public University of Navarre.



Permanent and rotational crops

The vegetable canning industries, by the very nature of its processes, produce a considerable volume of low-contaminant effluents.


A research project began in 1996 to determine the viability of agricultural irrigation as an alternative to the dumping of this wastewater. To this end, three trials were carried out, two in Villafranca and one in Valtierra, locations in the Ebro river basin region of Navarre with vegetable canning plants located on three agricultural soils representatives of the zone.

Iñigo Virto’s research project involved the characterisation of the soils at the three trial sites in order to subsequently evaluate the effect of irrigation with waste waters from industrial canneries, as a function of the doses received and the type of handling/ kind of irrigation undertaken for the crop.

The viability of these kinds of systems depends fundamentally on the nature of the soil under use, the irrigation system and the type of crop planted. These are the factors that have to be considered when installing irrigation systems using wastewater.

Thus, in soils on which there is permanent meadowland, such as alfalfa or
ray grass meadows and where sprinkler irrigation has taken place, a “positive evolution” of the soil was observed, given that “this water is not contaminant but provides a significant injection of organic material and other types of elements that can be positive for the development of the soil”. Nevertheless, on these types of soils any kind of irrigated meadow crop enhances the soil, independently of the type of water used for the irrigation.

Also, on the soils where rotation crops were planted (in general, maize, wheat and sunflower) and were flood-irrigated, soil evolution was different due to this handling factor. In short, this investigation showed that soil evolution was not as linked to wastewater irrigation as to the handling and quality of the soil.

So, if the crop type is suitably selected and the irrigation system is perfectly viable with this type of water, from the point of view of the soil.

Trials in Valtierra and Villafranca

The trials were undertaken on three stretches of land attached to their corresponding canning factories. Each estate was divided into smaller plots which were irrigated with differing doses of waste water, although each of the three pieces of ground was received the same total amount of water, i.e. within each of the three trial estates, the proportion of waste water and clean, normal water for irrigation as well as the type of crop and irrigation system varied. Moreover, each estate was representative of different characteristic soils of the Ribera (Ebro river basin) area.

Firstly a prospection of the three soils was carried out. After the four-year trial, new profiles were excavated at each of the three areas of land in question. Moreover, over the trial period, samples were taken in order to study the development of their physical properties over time (such as texture, structural stability, permeability, infiltrability and capacity for retention of water at high potentials) and their chemical properties (organic material content, phosphorous, acidity and electrical conductivity, amongst others) and which might have been affected by irrigation with waste water.

The most complex task was finding parameters to be used to monitor the evolution of the soil and its quality, given that “reliable and exact indicators of soil quality were needed”. In this way, after verifying this precision and representativity, the study of naturally dispersed granulometry was chosen in order to evaluate the stability of the structure, and a new method was designed for the physical fractioning in order to separate free organic material, “widely recognised as an early indicator of changes in the soil”.

This indicator measures, in the organic material within the soil, “the fraction most directly related to fertility and to the stability of the soil structure”. The data obtained with these indicators was subsequently corroborated by means of a micromorphological study of thin sheets of soils, including an evaluation of porosity and microstructure though digital image analysis.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com
http://www.elhuyar.com

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change

17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering

Studying fundamental particles in materials

17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>