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 Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>