4.4 André Santos – University of Copenhagen

ReUseWaste > Thesis abstracts > 4.4 André Santos

Development of composting technology for bio-fertiliser production, André Santos, CSIC

The study of key waste fluxes, its management and the optimization of the overall waste chains are one of the most important goals for achieve circular and green economy targets in the UE in terms of agronomic and environmental issues. In this line, manure waste management chain is maybe the most important issue to take into account, in order to minimise the huge amounts of livestock wastes generated on farms.

In the Mediterranean countries, pig farms constitute a key area in the livestock production sector in terms of slurries production, due to the intensification of the production systems and the great number of animals. The nature of pig slurries, liquid and/or solid fraction, needs an accurate management due to nitrate leaching, gaseous emissions, odours, volume for storage and transportation and moisture content. Development of added value products derived from waste management of animal manures and especially recovery of nutrients and organic matter for soils through the preparation of biofertiliser products, and compost is a very promising line to produce win-win strategies by reduction of GHG emissions and synthetic fertiliser’s inputs to the soil and increase the C sequestration in the amended soils and avoid other environmental problems.

The objectives of this thesis were the development of the most optimal methods to produce high quality biofertilisers by co-composting the pig slurry with plant residues, as bulking agents, optimising, in quality, the composting conditions and finally assess the biofertilising capacities in agronomic conditions. This entailed i) Assessing the biodegradability of the solid fraction of pig slurry for composting and the influence of the bulking agent on degradation and the CO2 emissions; ii) assessing the production of fertiliser products by composting of solid fraction of pig slurry in a real scale scenario and the CO2, NxO, CH4 and NH3 emissions during the process.; iii) validating new instrumental technics (thermogravimetric analysis, FT-IR spectroscopy and CP-MAS 13C-NMR spectroscopy) as useful tools in the structural knowledge of organic matter transformations during the composting process by comparing the efficiency front of the traditional analytic technics; and iv) assessing the nutrient values of the compost produced and define the adequate use of the compost.

  • Martín-Mata, J., Lahoz-Ramos, C., Bustamante, M. A., Marhuenda-Egea, F.C., Moral, R., Santos, A., Sáez, J.A., Bernal, M.P. Sustainable management of pig slurry using different composting scenarios: assessment of organic matter changes. Submitted manuscript


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