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Adding worms during composting of organic waste with red mud and fly ash reduces CO 2 emissions and increases plant available nutrient contents

Abstract : Alkaline industrial wastes such as red mud and fly ash are produced in large quantities. They may be recycled as bulking agent during composting and vermicomposting, converting organic waste into soil amendments or plant growth media. The aim of this study was to assess the microbial parameters, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient availability during composting and vermicomposting of household waste with red mud and fly ash 15% (dry weight). CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions were monitored during 6 months in controlled laboratory conditions and microbial biomass and phospholipid acids, N and P availability were analysed in the end-products. Higher CO2 emissions were observed during vermicomposting compared to composting. These emissions were decreased by red mud addition, while fly ash had no effect. Nitrate (NO3-N) content of the end-products were more affected by worms than by alkaline materials, while higher ammonium (NH4-N) contents were recorded for composts than vermicomposts. Red mud vermicompost showed higher soluble P proportion than red mud compost, suggesting that worm presence can counterbalance P adsorption to the inorganic matrix. Final composts produced with red mud showed no harmful heavy metal concentrations. Adding worms during composting thus improved the product nutrient availability and did not increase metal toxicity. From a practical point of view, this study suggests that for carbon stabilisation and end-product quality, the addition of red mud during composting should be accompanied by worm addition to counterbalance negative effects on nutrient availability.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01808642
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 8:04:19 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 4:47:40 AM

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Justine Barthod, Cornelia Rumpel, M. Calabi-Floody, M.-L. Mora, N.S. Bolan, et al.. Adding worms during composting of organic waste with red mud and fly ash reduces CO 2 emissions and increases plant available nutrient contents. Journal of Environmental Management, Elsevier, 2018, 222, pp.207-215. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.05.079⟩. ⟨hal-01808642⟩

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