Composting rice straw with sewage sludge and compost effects on the soil-plant system.Chemosphere 2009; 75(6):781-7C
Composting organic residue is an interesting alternative to recycling waste as the compost obtained may be used as organic fertilizer. This study aims to assess the composting process of rice straw and sewage sludge on a pilot-scale, to evaluate both the quality of the composts obtained and the effects of applying such compost on soil properties and plant development in pot experiments. Two piles, with shredded and non-shredded rice straw, were composted as static piles with passive aeration. Throughout the composting process, a number of parameters were determined, e.g. colour, temperature, moisture, pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, C/N ratio, humification index, cation exchange capacity, chemical oxygen demand, and germination index. Moreover, sandy and clayey soils were amended with different doses of mature compost and strewed with barley in pot experiments. The results show that compost made from shredded rice straw reached the temperatures required to maximise product sanitisation, and that the parameters indicating compost maturity were all positive; however, the humification index and NH(4) content were more selective. Therefore, using compost-amended soils at a dose of 34 Mg ha(-1) for sandy soil, and of 11 Mg ha(-1) for clayey soil improves soil properties and the growth of Hordeum vulgare plants. Under there conditions, the only limiting factor of agronomic compost utilisation was the increased soil salinity.