|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 9|
Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture. Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control. The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.
Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role in maintaining soil productivity and accounting for the promotion of biological diversity. The main components of the SOM are the humic substances which can be fractionated according to its solubility in humic acid (HA), fulvic acids (FA) and humin (HU). The determination of the chemical properties of organic matter as well as its interaction with metallic species is an important tool for understanding the structure of the humic fractions. Fluorescence spectroscopy has been studied as a source of information about what is happening at the molecular level in these compounds. Specially, soils of Amazon region are an important ecosystem of the planet. The aim of this study is to understand the molecular and structural composition of HA samples from Spodosol of Amazonia using the fluorescence Emission-Excitation Matrix (EEM) and Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TRFS). The results showed that the samples of HA showed two fluorescent components; one has a more complex structure and the other one has a simpler structure, which was also seen in TRFS through the evaluation of each sample lifetime. Thus, studies of this nature become important because it aims to evaluate the molecular and structural characteristics of the humic fractions in the region that is considered as one of the most important regions in the world, the Amazon.
Forward Osmosis (FO) polyamide thin-film composite membranes have been prepared by interfacial polymerization using commercial UF polyethersulfoneas membrane support. Different interfacial polymerization times (10s, 30s and 60s) in the organic solution containing trimesoyl chloride (TMC) at constant m-phenylenediamine (MPD) concentration (2% w/v) were studied. The synthesized polyamide membranes then tested for treatment of natural organic matter (NOM) and compared to commercial Cellulose TriAcetate (CTA) membrane. It was found that membrane prepared with higher reaction time (30s and 60s) exhibited better membrane performance (flux and humic acid removal) over commercial CTA membrane.
Humic acids (HA) were produced by a Trichoderma viride strain under submerged fermentation in a medium based on the oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) and the main variables of the process were optimized by using response surface methodology. A temperature of 40°C and concentrations of 50g/L EFB, 5.7g/L potato peptone and 0.11g/L (NH4)2SO4 were the optimum levels of the variables that maximize the HA production, within the physicochemical and biological limits of the process. The optimized conditions led to an experimental HA concentration of 428.4±17.5 mg/L, which validated the prediction from the statistical model of 412.0mg/L. This optimization increased about 7–fold the HA production previously reported in the literature. Additionally, the time profiles of HA production and fungal growth confirmed our previous findings that HA production preferably occurs during fungal sporulation. The present study demonstrated that T. viride successfully produced HA via the submerged fermentation of EFB and the process parameters were successfully optimized using a statistics-based response surface model. To the best of our knowledge, the present work is the first report on the optimization of HA production from EFB by a biotechnological process, whose feasibility was only pointed out in previous works.
For stricter drinking water regulations in the future, reducing the humic acid and disinfection byproducts in raw water, namely, trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) is worthy for research. To investigate the removal of waterborne organic material using a lab-scale of bio-activated carbon filter under different EBCT, the concentrations of humic acid prepared were 0.01, 0.03, 0.06, 0.12, 0.17, 0.23, and 0.29 mg/L. Then we conducted experiments using a pilot plant with in-field of the serially connected bio-activated carbon filters and hollow fiber membrane processes employed in traditional water purification plants. Results showed under low TOC conditions of humic acid in influent (0.69 to 1.03 mg TOC/L) with an EBCT of 30 min, 40 min, and 50 min, TOC removal rates increases with greater EBCT, attaining about 39 % removal rate. The removal rate of THMs and HAAs by BACF was 54.8 % and 89.0 %, respectively.
The increments of aromatic structures are widely used to monitor the degree of humification. Compost derived from mix manures mixed with agricultural wastes was studied. The compost collected at day 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 49, 77, 91, 105, and 119 was divided into 3 stages, initial stage at day 0, thermophilic stage during day 1-48, and mature stage during day 49-119. The change of highest absorptions at wavelength range between 210-235 nm during day 0- 49 implied that small molecules such as nitrates and carboxylic occurred faster than the aromatic molecules that were found at wavelength around 280 nm. The ratio of electron-transfer band at wavelength 253 nm by the benzonoid band at wavelength 230 nm (E253/E230) also gradually increased during the fermenting period indicating the presence of O-containing functional groups. This was in agreement with the shift change from aliphatic to aromatic structures as shown by the relationship with C/N and H/C ratios (r = - 0.631 and -0.717, p< 0.05) since both were decreasing. Although the amounts of humic acid (HA) were not different much during the humification process, the UV spectral deconvolution showed better qualitative characteristics to help in determining the compost quality. From this study, the compost should be used at day 49 and should not be kept longer than 3 months otherwise the quality of HA would decline regardless of the amounts of HA that might be rising. This implied that other processes, such as mineralization had an influence on the humification process changing HA-s structure and its qualities.