Composting Cotton Mill Waste
Feb 12, 2019

WCRC WCRC2 Cotton and Environmrnt

Composting of cotton mill wastes may provide means for the production of a stable organic material, useful for soil improvement and as a substrate for plant growth. The aim of this work was to examine the composting process of cotton wastes and to evaluate the produced compost. Three composting piles were formed. In the first the ratio C/N was reduced to 28 with the addition of NH4NO3 , in the second cotton wastes were mixed with olive tree leaves at a ratio 2:1, respectively and in the third one a small amount of mature compost was added in order to trigger micro-organism activity. The results concerning the composting process, revealed that the reduction of the C/N ratio of the raw material is not a critical parameter for the composting of cotton mill wastes. The addition of olive tree leaves, as a bulking agent, enriched the final compost in nutrients and humic substances but delayed the overall process. The evolution of the composting process seems to be accelerated by the addition of a small amount of mature compost at the beginning. Decomposition of the materials lowered gradually the ratio C/N, due to carbon loss, reaching values between 9 and 10 while the nitrate content was increased significantly. The final produced composts were rich in nutrients and extractable humic substances. Tomato seedlings were superior in substrate with 30% (v/v) cotton mill wastes mature compost, compared to that in commercial substrates

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