University of Córdoba Developed Effective Organic Fertilizer

As global populations swell, the waste variety and volume generated by heightened consumption rise concurrently. Recent years have seen a keen focus on harnessing strategies that recycle waste into environmentally friendly, socio-economically beneficial resources under the circular economy’s banner.

A pressing challenge in agriculture is the concentrated waste accumulation stemming from intensifying farming and livestock operations in specific locales. In response to these management complexities, a comprehensive research group at the University of Córdoba has developed a solution for the agricultural waste problem prevalent in the Córdoba province — the team identified a resourceful repurposing approach.

Córdoba’s poultry industry produces significant volumes of chicken waste, which, due to environmental implications, requires adept treatment. The research unit pioneered an organic fertilizer by amalgamating chicken manure with by-products from the province’s dominant crops—olive trees and cereals. This innovative solution, achieved through a ‘co-composting’ technique—controlled degradation by mingling various solid organic waste—transforms agricultural remnants into a premium agronomic product.

Key to the study was the trial conducted at Córdoba’s Coto Bajo composting facility. This experiment tracked the co-composting quality, stability, and resultant odor, a typical drawback of manure-based fertilizers. The research incorporated a novel element: a preliminary fermentative treatment to counteract the scent. This phase expedited organic material breakdown and curtailed odor releases.

The merger of these two processes—fermentation preceding co-composting—yielded a refined, stable end product, which is also ecologically safe and financially beneficial.

Full study could be found on ScienceDirect.

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