• Production of Compost and Organic Fertilizer from Sugarcane Residues

    Dalia A. Nakhla1, Y.I. Mahmoud2, Salah El Haggar3

    1, Environmental Management Consultant, 40 Mohi El Din Abu ElEzz, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.

    2,  Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Giza, Egypt.

    3, Mechanical Engineering Department, School of Sciences and Engineering, American University in Cairo, Egypt.

    Abstract: The main residues generated from the sugarcane industry, in Egypt, are green tops and dry leaves from the harvesting process as well as bagasse, filter cake/mud and furnace ash from the cane milling process. The green tops are directly fed to the farmers’ livestock in its raw form during the sugar harvesting season which is from January to April. As for the dry leaves, it represents a burden due to its large volume and fire hazard and so it is daily burnt in the fields causing considerable air pollution. Bagasse, on the other hand, is currently used in Egyptian sugar mills as fuel to generate the mill’s steam and electricity or as fiber to make fiberboard and paper. However, as natural gas is replacing bagasse as fuel, bagasse will be available in large quantities in the factories that are not currently utilizing it for fiber. In addition, filter cake/mud and furnace ash are currently applied directly on reclaimed lands to act as soil additive. However, direct incorporation of raw agro-industrial waste into the soil may cause undesirable outcomes as phytotoxicity and soil nitrogen immobilization. The objective of this research was to test for the possibility and feasibility of producing compost/organic fertilizer from the waste streams generated from the agricultural and industrial phases of sugarcane manufacture, as an environmentally friendly reuse alternative to produce organic fertilizer that is more safe than chemical or artificial fertilizers. The pilot experiment has demonstrated that a variety of compost types and organic fertilizers can be produced from a combination of the residues generated from the sugarcane residues according to their chemical and biological properties.

    Keywords: Baggase, Compost, Filter Mud, Sugarcane Residues.

    Pages: 69 – 89 | Full PDF Paper