India is the world’s largest producer of sugar, with an annual production capacity of 29 million tonnes. Each crushing season, this intern produces over 10 million tonnes of pressmud, which is difficult to dispose of due to its inherent properties. The present study is part of larger investigation for treatment and disposal of pressmud and spentwash. Further, scope of this research article is confined to utilization of pressmud for aerobic composting of pressmud along with selected microbial consortium and stabilized spentwash. Composting was carried out in an open area with 50 kg of pressmud and 1% (w/w) dosage of microbial consortium. Stabilized spentwash was used at concentrations of 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200% (v/w) and applied at predetermined time intervals. The entire study lasted for 50 days and the results were compared to those recommended by the Fertilizer Control Order (FCO), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India (1). In an organic compost, the FCO recommends a minimum concentration of 12%, 0.80%, 0.40%, and 0.40% in TOC, TKN, phosphorous and potassium, with a maximum C/N ratio of 20. During composting, the addition of 150% (CH5) stabilized spentwash resulted in a maximum nutrient concentration in the majority of the parameters analysed. CH5 showed that the concentration of TOC, TKN, C/N, phosphorous and potassium were 25.92±2.19%, 2.16±0.29%, 12.28±0.66, 6.55±0.11% and 15.90±1.37% respectively. Hence, it can be concluded that selected microbial consortium is capable of decomposing the organic matter found in pressmud. Additionally, the application of stabilized spentwash enhanced the nutritional content of end product.
- Aerobic composting
- Organic compost