The PhD student will work on producing new effective organo-mineral fertilisers based on bio-waste. This requires the development of an innovative technological transformation process of bio-wastes together with the industrial partner, the fertiliser company SCAM. Different organic matrices derived from various waste materials (e.g. separated, composted or digested manure solids, grape or olive pomace, crop residues, municipal waste residuals) will be tested and modified in collaboration with SCAM, to develop new peat-free organo-mineral fertiliser products. Special innovation focus will be posed on minimising potential contaminants, increasing the quality organic fraction of the final fertiliser and controlling nutrient release dynamics.
The PhD student work will focus on characterising the organic fraction, and evaluating the effects on the crop of such newly developed fertilisers through pot trials in growth chamber, field test in small plots, and farm application to assess the fertiliser quality, release of nutrients, and potential environmental risks. Isotope studies will also be used to evaluate the availability and dynamics of macro- and micro-nutrients, and possible bio-stimulant effects of these fertilisers
Methods will integrate different scales and approaches: chemical fine characterization of the organic fraction, pot trials in growth chamber, field test in small plots, and farm application to assess the fertiliser quality, release of nutrients, and potential environmental risks. Information on the fertiliser physico-chemical properties, blending potential with mineral fertilisers and NPK + micronutrient release will be used to optimise formulation and production processes.
Collaboration with other ESR’s in the project will be relevant.
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