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Research article2004Peer reviewed

The fertilizing effect of compost and biogas residues from source separated household waste

Svensson K, Odlare M, Pell M


In Sweden, deposition of organic waste will be prohibited in the year 2005. Instead, the waste will be either incinerated or source separated, processed (composted or anaerobically digested) and recycled back to arable land. In order to evaluate the biologically processed waste products as fertilizers, a field experiment was initiated in Sweden in the autumn of 1998. The main focus of the experiment was to compare compost (C) from source-separated domestic waste with biogas residues (BR) from source-separated domestic waste. Each fertilizer was applied in two combinations: in treatments C-50 and BR50, 50 kg N/ha/year originates from the waste and 50 kg N/ha/year from mineral nitrogen fertilizer, while in C-100 and BR100, the organic wastes were the only plant nutrient sources (100 kg N/ha/year). Mineral fertilizer (NPS100) and unamended were used as controls. Generally pure mineral fertilizers resulted in the highest yield, while control without nitrogen generated the lowest yield. A combination of organic fertilizer and mineral fertilizer resulted in higher yield compared with applying sole organic fertilizer. Total mineral N in the fertilizer was generally the best overall predictor/regressor for grain yield, total nitrogen yield and apparent bioavailable nitrogen. Application of biogas residue resulted in higher yield and grain quality than compost. The higher concentration of nitrogen in oats suggested that oats is a better choice when using compost as a fertilizer. In conclusion, compost and anaerobic biogas residues should not be used as sole fertilizers. Compost should be complemented with mineral N and the biogas residues with P. If compensation for the low content of mineral N in compost is made by a higher application rate, large amounts of heavy metals might be applied along with the compost

Published in

Journal of Agricultural Science
2004, Volume: 142, pages: 461-467

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
    Renewable Bioenergy Research

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