Special Issue "From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Soils".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Vladimír Frišták
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Trnava, Hornopotočná 23, 91843 Trnava, Slovakia
Interests: pyrolysis; biochar; carbon sequestration; waste valorization; nutrients recycling; soil chemistry
Dr. Martin Pipíška
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Trnava, Hornopotočná 23, 91843 Trnava, Slovakia
Interests: remediation; biosorption process modelling; water contamination; heavy metals and radionuclides accumulation; biochar
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A major issue of our society is the global increase in food demand due to the extreme growth rate of the world human population. Hence, to deliver the required food supplies, inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides have been intensively applied to improve the yield of key crops. The need for sustainable fertilization with minimal impact on the environment has started the search for sources of potential fertilizer alternatives for application in agronomy. This has generated interest in renewable feedstock from biomass waste. Many of these wastes, such as plant and animal residues, sewage sludge or animal excrements, are disposed of in landfills, composed or incinerated. However, these materials are valuable sources of nutrients for plant production. Additionally, the suitable pretreatment of input biomass feedstock (composting, pyrolysis, hydrothermal carbonisation, gasification) can lead to the production of ecotoxicologically safe products in sustainable agriculture.       

As guest editors of this Special Issue of Agriculture, we would like to invite researchers and scientists to provide excellent advances on the various aspects of waste utilization as potential soil fertilizers and additives to improve soil characteristics and crop yields in sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Vladimír Frišták
Dr. Martin Pipíška
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biomass waste
  • waste conversion
  • organic farming
  • soil carbon sequestration
  • nutrients recycling
  • nutritional security
  • ecological agriculture
  • alternative soil additives
  • innovative fertilizers
  • farm innovation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Effects of Composts Made from Broiler Chicken Residues and Blended with Biochar on the Minerals and Phenolic Compounds in Parsley (Petroselinum crispum Mill.)
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111168 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Soil amendments, such as composts and biochar, are currently widely used as substrates in container gardening. Although different types of wastes have been used in composting, formulating growing mediums for specific plants using different materials is necessary. In the present study, organic substrates [...] Read more.
Soil amendments, such as composts and biochar, are currently widely used as substrates in container gardening. Although different types of wastes have been used in composting, formulating growing mediums for specific plants using different materials is necessary. In the present study, organic substrates comprising mixtures of (a) broiler chicken wastes composted with sugar bagasse, sawdust, urban tree, napier grass, or cotton residues, and (b) five different proportions of biochar (0%, 15%, 30%, 45%, and 60%) were used to produce mineral and flavonoid-rich parsley plants. The sawdust-based substrate led to the highest yields (27.86 g pot−1 on average), regardless of the amount of biochar added; however, this substrate resulted in plants with no appreciable antioxidant activities. Plants grown using the tree-based substrate had moderate yields (16.95 g pot−1), and the highest phenolic levels (e.g., 7.93 mg GAE g−1) and antioxidant activities (DPPH scavenging activity over 11.17 g TE g−1). Such activities were better described by the presence of apigenin-7-apiosylglucoside and diosmetin-apiosylglucoside. Moderate yields were also obtained with the cotton-based substrate; however, such yields were only obtained at biochar proportions greater than 30%; this substrate led to the highest K contents (47.19 g kg−1). The lowest yields (3.20 g pot−1) and N (20.96 g kg−1), P (1.33 g kg−1), K (33.26 g kg−1), and flavonoid (13.63 mg CE g−1) contents were obtained with the napier-based substrate. However, this substrate led to the production of parsley plants with the highest levels of anthocyanins (0.40 mg CGE g−1), which may have accumulated as stress sensors and defense components. The bagasse-based substrate also led to high yields and appreciable flavonoid contents with 60% biochar. In most cases, no linear relationship was found between the biochar amount and the chemical parameters evaluated. Overall, the substrates formulated using urban tree residues had higher suitability for parsley development than those formulated using sugar bagasse, sawdust, napier grass, or cotton residues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Influence of Gypsum-Containing Waste on Ammonia Binding in Animal Waste Composting
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111153 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 290
Abstract
The possibility of using gypsum-containing waste–citrogypsum, which is a by-product of the chemical biosynthesis of citric acid, was considered as an additive for composting poultry manure from poultry farms that practice litter-free poultry keeping. The research was carried out on an experimental batch [...] Read more.
The possibility of using gypsum-containing waste–citrogypsum, which is a by-product of the chemical biosynthesis of citric acid, was considered as an additive for composting poultry manure from poultry farms that practice litter-free poultry keeping. The research was carried out on an experimental batch of 1500 tons. The production of the batch was carried out by mixing citrogypsum with a moisture content of 30% and litterless chicken manure with a moisture content of no more than 80% in a ratio of 1:2. The resulting mixture was placed on an open landfill in piles 3 m wide, 1 m high and 400 m long and was mixed twice with a compost turner. Further processing consisted of mixing the mass once every seven days. The controlled parameters were changes in humidity, temperature, pH and nitrogen content during composting. In the course of the experiment, it was found that the introduction of citrogypsum into the composition of the compost helps to optimize the moisture, temperature and pH of the mixture, and a decrease in ammonia emission to 87% was recorded, with an increase in nitrogen content of 2.4 times compared to the initial value. It was concluded that citrogypsum can be used in composting poultry waste to reduce volatilization of ammonia and preserve nutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Innovative Polycomposite Fertilizer Obtained by Recycling and Processing Three Organic Wastes
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11101021 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 395
Abstract
The paper aims at testing an innovative organic fertilizer obtained from waste by processing a mixture of marine algae biomass, sewage municipal sludge and farmyard manure. Design of this polycomposite fertilizer is based on adequate conceptual and experimental models by taking into account [...] Read more.
The paper aims at testing an innovative organic fertilizer obtained from waste by processing a mixture of marine algae biomass, sewage municipal sludge and farmyard manure. Design of this polycomposite fertilizer is based on adequate conceptual and experimental models by taking into account the complex interactions among these three biomasses. In the first step a detail physico-chemical analysis has been performed on the composition of the three raw materials and also on the soil. In the second phase similar analyses have been carried out on representative samples of soil treated with the compost as compared with untreated soil samples. Analytical methods applied were FT-IR spectroscopy in correlation with organic/inorganic and total carbon (TOC/TIC/TC) analysis. The efficiency of applying this compost on the field at large scale has been assessed by means of fatty acid content of the oleaginous plants cultivated. Based on correlation between production quality and chemical composition of the composted soil, the optimal proportions of the mixture of the three organic wastes will be selected for designing an eco-friendly fertilizer able to improve agrochemical properties of the soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Amendment of Livestock Manure with Natural Zeolite-Clinoptilolite and Its Effect on Decomposition Processes during Composting
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11100980 - 09 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 360
Abstract
The aim of study was to investigate the effect of amendment of cow manure with natural zeolite-clinoptilolite and hydrated lime on decomposition processes over the period of 90 days. Two static piles of amended substrates were constructed consisting of cow manure with an [...] Read more.
The aim of study was to investigate the effect of amendment of cow manure with natural zeolite-clinoptilolite and hydrated lime on decomposition processes over the period of 90 days. Two static piles of amended substrates were constructed consisting of cow manure with an addition of bulking material (2.5% by weight): (1) manure mixed with zeolite (S1); manure mixed with zeolite and lime (S2). Third amendment-free pile served as a control (C). During the experiment, pH level, temperature (T), dry matter (DM), ash, organic matter (OM), C/N ratio, ammonia nitrogen (N-NH4+) and total nitrogen (Nt) were determined. We also determined the counts of total coliform and faecal coliform bacteria and faecal streptococci as indicators of the hygiene level of compost. A significant increase (p < 0.001) in temperature to 53 °C was observed in S2 compared to C. In S2 we observed a significantly reduced release of N-NH4+ from the composting substrate compared to C (p < 0.05). The significant differences were in Nt content in C and S2 (p < 0.001) and between S1 and S2 (p < 0.05). The concentration of Nt increased and caused decrease in the C/N ratio. The content of Nt in the substrates with zeolite increased by 44% in S1 and 45% in S2 compared to C. The differences in counts of coliform and faecal coliform bacteria between C and S2 were significant (p < 0.001). This experiment showed that amendment with zeolite and lime decreased nitrogen losses during composting and indicated sorption effects of zeolite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
The Use of Municipal Solid Waste Compost in Combination with Proper Irrigation Scheduling Influences the Productivity, Microbial Activity and Water Use Efficiency of Direct Seeded Rice
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11100941 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
Appropriate irrigation scheduling, along with proper nutrient management practice for direct seeded rice (DSR), are very much essential to attain higher water use efficiency. Huge amounts of municipal waste are been produced every year and these wastes are left untreated and have caused [...] Read more.
Appropriate irrigation scheduling, along with proper nutrient management practice for direct seeded rice (DSR), are very much essential to attain higher water use efficiency. Huge amounts of municipal waste are been produced every year and these wastes are left untreated and have caused many environmental hazards. However, these wastes can be converted into potential manures for crop production when enhanced with microbial consortia. Concerning these, the current research was carried out to know the effect of compost of enriched municipal soil waste (E-MSWC) with suitable irrigation scheduling on growth, yield, microbial activity, and water use efficiency of the DSR grown under Indo-Gangetic plains during two consecutive rice seasons of 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 at Varanasi, India. From the experiment, it was found that E-MSWC applied at 10 Mg·ha−1 along with 75% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF) was capable to improve growth, yield, soil microbes, and water use efficiency (WUE) of rice. Amongst different enriched MSWC, the consortia (blend of N-fixing, P and Zn-solubilizing bacteria and Trichoderma) enriched MSWC was found to be the most effective. Concerning, different irrigation scheduling, it was observed that 50 mm cumulative pan evaporation (CPE) based irrigation was the most suitable as compared to providing irrigation at 75 mm CPE. Comparing rice varieties used in the research, the rice variety Swarna has appeared as a better choice in terms of yield and WUE than the variety, Sahbhagi. Thus, it can be recommended that irrigation at 50 mm of CPE in conjunction with 75% RDF + E-MSWC (consortia) at 10 Mg·ha−1 could improve the water use efficiency of rice grown in Indo-Gangetic plains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Preparation and Characterization of Novel Magnesium Composite/Walnut Shells-Derived Biochar for As and P Sorption from Aqueous Solutions
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080714 - 28 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Elevated or unnatural levels of arsenic (As) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in soils and waterbodies from anthropogenic sources can present significant hazards for both natural ecosystems and human food production. Effective, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive materials, such as biochar, are needed to reduce [...] Read more.
Elevated or unnatural levels of arsenic (As) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in soils and waterbodies from anthropogenic sources can present significant hazards for both natural ecosystems and human food production. Effective, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive materials, such as biochar, are needed to reduce mobility and bioavailability of As and P. While biochar features several physicochemical properties that make it an ideal contaminant sorbent, certain modifications such as mineral-impregnation can improve sorption efficiencies for targeted compounds. Here, we conducted sorption experiments to investigate and quantify the potential utility of magnesium (Mg) for improving biochar sorption efficiency of P and As. We synthesized a Mg-modified walnut shells-derived biochar and characterized its ability to remove As and P from aqueous solutions, thereby mitigating losses of valuable P when needed while, at the same time, immobilizing hazardous As in ecosystems. SEM-EDX, FTIR and elemental analysis showed morphological and functional changes of biochar and the formation of new Mg-based composites (MgO, MgOHCl) responsible for improved sorption potential capacity by 10 times for As and 20 times for P. Sorption efficiency was attributed to improved AEC, higher SSA, chemical forms of sorbates and new sorption site formations. Synthetized Mg-composite/walnut shell-derived biochar also removed >90% of P from real samples of wastewater, indicating its potential suitability for contaminated waterbody remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Characterization of Vitamin B12 Compounds in Fermented Poultry Manure Fertilizers
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070627 - 05 Jul 2021
Viewed by 949
Abstract
(1) Background: Currently, no data are available on the vitamin B12 content of an organic fertilizer product, viz. fermented poultry manure, or whether the organic fertilizer product contains vitamin B12 or inactive corrinoids (or both). (2) Methods: This study conducted a [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Currently, no data are available on the vitamin B12 content of an organic fertilizer product, viz. fermented poultry manure, or whether the organic fertilizer product contains vitamin B12 or inactive corrinoids (or both). (2) Methods: This study conducted a microbiological assay to determine the vitamin B12 content of various commercially available fermented poultry manure fertilizer products. (3) Results: The results varied from 1.4 μg to approximately 20 μg per 100 g of dry weight. In the bioautography analysis, selected products had two positive spots with identical Rf values of vitamin B12 and pseudovitamin B12. High-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization−mass spectrometry analyses of the selected products indicated that these fertilizers primarily contained vitamin B12. They also contained minor inactive cobamides such as pseudovitamin B12, 2-methyladenyl cobamide, and 2-methylmercaptoadenyl cobamide. (4) Conclusions: These results suggested that edible plants would enrich vitamin B12 using fermented poultry manure organic fertilizer products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Fertilizer in Sustainable Agriculture)
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