American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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Development of organomineral fertilisers derived from nutrient-enriched biosolids granules: product specification

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131620153,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Diogenes Luis Antille, Ruben —- Sakrabani, Sean F. Tyrrel, Son —- Le, Richard J. Godwin
Keywords:   Organomineral fertilisers (OMF) physical and chemical properties biosolids granules recycling.

Abstract. A technique was developed to produce organomineral fertilisers (OMF) using biosolids granules coated with urea and potash. Two OMF formulations with the following N:P2O5:K2O compositions: 10:4:4 (OMF10) and 15:4:4 (OMF15) were developed for application in grassland and arable crops. Routine fertiliser analyses were conducted on OMF and biosolids samples, and compared with a sample of urea to determine key physical and chemical properties of the materials which affect handling and spreading, soil behaviour and fertiliser value. Bulk and particle densities were in the range of 608 to 618 kg m-3, and 1297 to 1357 kg m-3 respectively. Compression tests showed that OMF particles undergo deformation followed by multiple failures without disintegration of the granules when vertical load was applied. This behaviour was attributed to the moisture content (≈15% w w-1) and the organic nature of the material. Static particle strength was between 1.14 and 6.31 N mm-2 depending on the particle diameter. The use of a model for fertiliser particle distribution studies showed that OMF granules should be between 1.10 and 5.50 mm in diameter with about 80% of the particles in the range of 2.25 to 4.40 mm to enable application at 18 m tramline spacing. This research is novel as it utilises technology to improve fertiliser value of biosolids to increase usage by farmers, reduce disposal costs and deliver the range of environmental benefits associated with recycling.

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