Is Bio-Slurry from a food waste treatment system a better fertilizer than manure?

food waste treatment in India

Organic waste matter and food loss or waste are removed out from fields mainly for feed, and fuel purposes, while the rest stays in the field as feed or manure. Utilizing and eliminating organic waste matter without supplanting it prompts significant losses of on-farm nutrients and soil carbon, which could somehow be utilized to fertilize crops. Resources should be utilized proficiently by reducing with simple sustainable practices and organic waste recycling. The solution is to eliminate the losses caused by food loss or waste by bio-methanation utilizing a Bio-digester. The organic residues are converted to biogas and can be used for light and cooking and bio-slurry, a nutritious organic manure is a source of organic waste matter. Through retaining nutrients Bio-slurry, supplements become accessible to the food system again.

India is one of the topmost agricultural countries in the world, food waste treatment in India is a daunting task. CHUGG- an innovative food waste treatment system developed by AVRIS Environment technologies LLP utilizes food waste as raw material to produce Biogas. The residue of food waste assimilation, bio-slurry, can be utilized as manure for crop production. Nutrients in bio-slurry, particularly nitrogen, are all the more promptly accessible than in fertilizer. 

How CHUGG produces Bio-Slurry?

Household biogas plants anaerobically digest food waste, kitchen scraps, and garden trimmings into little yet valuable measures of flammable gas, known as ‘biogas’. This biogas can be adequately utilized in gas stoves for cooking and lights for essential lighting. The residue of the cycle, known as ‘bio-slurry, can be effectively collected and utilized as a potent soil conditioner for yields and aquaculture. Public projects have given adequate consideration to the value of bio-slurry as a fertilizer and soil conditioner in the advancement and yield of crops in agriculture. Household Biogas units subsequently, by far appreciate the use of bio-slurry.

CHUGG- an innovative food waste treatment system is filled with crushed household food wastes, kitchen refuse, and crop residues every day. The waste matter is treated at the source when anaerobic digestion takes place in the absence of oxygen inside a chamber. The Methane produced as a result of anaerobic digestion is compressed in the chamber and converted to Biogas. Thus eliminating the emission of methane a major contributor to climate change into the atmosphere. The Biogas produced is then transported to the kitchen stovetop through pipelines. The residue produced from the CHUGG-food waste treatment system is called ‘digestive Bio-slurry’. Bio-slurry is an excellent soil conditioner that retains the soil’s moisture content thus making it a better fertilizer than manure.

The Bio-Slurry produced is rich in nutrients (N, P, and K), approximately half of the N is in organic form, whereas the other half is mineral (i.e. ammonium, NH4). During anaerobic digestion, all nutrients including nitrogen remain in the chamber. Hence unlike composting, no nitrogen is lost during anaerobic digestion. 

Bio-Slurry vs. Animal manure

In most cases, biogas production from an anaerobic digester that feeds on animal manure will be in the low end, because most readily available organic compounds have already been removed in the intestinal tract of the animal. The remaining organic matter in manure is generally composed of stable organic material not readily available for organic degradation. When poorly managed and untreated, animal manure becomes a major source of air pollution and water pollution. Leaching of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, ammonia evaporation, and pathogen contamination are some of the major threats.

During the anaerobic digestion process, in CHUGG most of the degradable organic compounds in the food waste will be converted into biogas, which will result in organic compounds in the bio-slurry that are more stable and less susceptible to mineralization than in the animal manure. The undigested slurry undergoes a series of anaerobic digestion hence Bio-slurry is a good source that mitigates the threats and pollution caused by animal manure.

Bio-Slurry vs. Chemical fertilizers

Chemical fertilizers can increase the nutrients of the soil. However, they replenish only a small part of it due to poor management and application. Therefore soils are not replenished fully with nutrients. Usage of chemical fertilizers without organic manure will decrease the productivity of the soil. In rare cases, soil fertility can be achieved through the combination of chemical and organic fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers are expensive hence small-scale farmers find it hard to afford them. Also, chemical fertilizers are susceptible to insect attacks, microbial pathogens, and weed growth. Chemical fertilizers are one of the contributors to global warming and climate change. The effect of reduced tillage on nitrous oxide and eutrophication due to fertilization creates negative environmental impacts. 

Bio-slurry can therefore be the perfect solution for this combination of environmental and cost issues involved in the usage of chemical fertilizers and N fertilizers. The bio-slurry application gives higher yields by providing higher protein content compared to the application of raw animal manure and chemical fertilizers. An average quantity of nutrients present in chemical fertilizers are 0.5-1.0% N, 0.15-0.20% P2O5 , 0.5 – 0.6% K2O and 12-16% organic carbon on a dry-weight basis. Whereas bio-slurry contains higher quantities of nutrients compared to chemical fertilizers. 

How Bio-slurry benefit farmers?

Many farmers do not realize the potential importance of Bio-slurry. The impact of Bio-slurry on basis of yield is much higher when compared with other fertilizers. It is a valuable soil conditioner that has numerous advantages in farming and crop yield. However, comparing the nutrients in the organic matter content when both used together in farming can offer high potential and offer farm resilience against impacts on climate change. In long-term use, chemical fertilizers remove soil humus and micronutrients. Furthermore, the price of such chemical fertilizers is increasing hence making it difficult for small-scale farmers to use them. Bio-Slurry produced from CHUGG increases the soil’s PH balance, providing all essential nutrients, and conditions required for crop growth. Therefore farmers can avoid using chemical fertilizer instead opt for Bio-slurry which is a great innovation and a profitable alternative. 

Final verdict

From the above-given information it is concluded that CHUGG- an innovative food waste treatment system together with the use of Bio-slurry is highly profitable for small, and medium-scale farmers. Bio-Slurry generated from CHUGG has much more benefits than described here. 


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