New Fertilizer Developed From Food Waste, Which Boosts Growth of Bacteria

Mar, 2021 - By SMI

New Fertilizer Developed From Food Waste, Which Boosts Growth of Bacteria

Researchers at California University developed a new organic liquid fertilizer, which increases the beneficial bacteria in the plant as well as soil.

A fertilizer, chemical or organic, is used to increase nutrients of a plant and help it grow healthier. However, for a long time, only chemical fertilizers were used, which were good for short run however, in long run they had many harmful effects on the environment. The harmful effects, which chemical fertilizers can cause are soil acidity, plant burning, water pollution, and depletion of minerals in soil. The water filled with chemical fertilizer causes the depletion of oxygen, which is very harmful for marine life.

Due to such side effects, scientists are developing many alternative ways to create fertilizers, which are not harmful for the environment. These organic fertilizers can be made from house waste, grocery shop waste, restaurant leftovers, and many more. In this case, the scientists at University of California - Riverside developed a process to convert everyday normal food waste to fertilizer, which increases the nutritional bacteria in both plant and soil. During experimentation, the researchers found that the fertilizer feeds on carbon to reproduce itself.

Anaerobic fermentation process is used to ferment the food waste into liquid known as digestate. The fermentation was done in two batches- waste left from beer production and the mixed waste from groceries. The liquid was then mixed with water and provided to plant kept under close observation using loop irrigation. After 24 hours, it was observed that the beneficiary bacteria increased by two to three times the order of magnitude than the other plants, which were not provided with the digestate. It was also observed that the digestate increased the immunity of the plants towards many diseases. The researchers hope that the organic fertilizer will be soon capable enough to completely replace chemical fertilizers.

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