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EXPLOITATION OF ΑGRICULTURAL BY-PRODUCTS FOR PRODUCTION OF ΟRGANIC COMPOST SOIL - AgroWasteCompost

EXPLOITATION OF ΑGRICULTURAL BY-PRODUCTS FOR PRODUCTION OF ΟRGANIC COMPOST SOIL - AgroWasteCompost

 

With the cooperation of the subcontractor “Laboratory of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology”, Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace

The project

Disposal and management of agro-industrial wastes and by-products of the food industry is a major problem today worldwide. According to recent European Union directives, agricultural wastes can no longer be subjected to incineration in the field, or transported to uncontrolled landfills or unlicensed landfills or waste treatment sites, as these sites may be a source of environmental pollution. In addition, there is a significant risk of toxic substances being passed through the food chain to humans and living organisms.

One of the most economical and environmentally friendly solutions to deal with the above problem is composting. Composting is the biological decomposition and stabilization of organic materials either through microbial activity or through the metabolic activity of specific organisms (earthworms), resulting in a stable and odorless product that can be used as a soil conditioner (organic fertilizer). A characteristic of the process is the low operating and investment cost compared to other technologies.

Therefore, the goal of the investment plan is the development of innovative technologies for the utilization of agricultural by-products and wastes (plant biomass) of wineries for the production of high value-added soil conditioners (organic fertilizer).

In the frame of the project (a) microbial composting, (b) vermicomposting usingEisenia fetida ή Eisenia andrei, and (c) combination of microbial composting and vermicomposting applying the optimum conditions previously determined will be tested. During the processes and at regular intervals, important parameters of the systems (productivity, temperature, pH, conductivity, oxygen concentration and humidity), the chemical composition of the final products (the C / N ratio, and the levels of P, K, Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn), the activity of enzymes related to the metabolic activity of the microbial population (dehydrogenase) and the activity of the worms (dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, acid phosphatase and urease), the microbial load (determination of total mesophilic flora, yeasts / fungi, enterobacteriaceae, coliforms Εsherichia coliclostridia, lactic acid bacteria, and Salmonellas spp.), confirmed by molecular methods (PCR-Generation or NGS), will be determined. In the next step, the effectiveness and suitability of composting products (proof-of-concept study), examining the germination of barley seeds after wetting with aqueous extract of composting product will be evaluated, while the effectiveness of the final products will be assessed in vineyard growth by determining shoots growth and dry weight of leaves.

The final stage of the project concerns the feasibility study, which will primarily include the technological validation of the technology developed and will determine the market that will be addressed.

Of note, a series of dissemination and exploitation activities are also included. 

Workpackages & Deliverables

Workpackage 1 Exploitation of winery agricultural by-products by microbial composting.

D1.1. System for microbial composting of winery agricultural by-products.

D1.2. Chemical composition of final products derived by microbial composting of winery agricultural by-products.

D1.3. Report on enzymatic activity and microbiological analysis of final products derived by microbial composting of winery agricultural by-products.

Workpackage 2. Exploitation of winery agricultural by-products by vermicomposting.

D2.1. System for vermicomposting of winery agricultural by-products.

D2.2. Chemical composition of final products derived by vermicomposting of winery agricultural by-products.

D2.3. Report on enzymatic activity and microbiological analysis of final products derived by vermicomposting of winery agricultural by-products.

Workpackage 3. Exploitation of winery agricultural by-products by combination of microbial composting and vermicomposting.

D3.1. System for combination of microbial composting and vermicomposting of winery agricultural by-products.

D3.2. Chemical composition of final products derived by combination of microbial composting and vermicomposting of winery agricultural by-products.

D3.3. Report on enzymatic activity and microbiological analysis of final products derived by combination of microbial composting and vermicomposting of winery agricultural by-products.

Workpackage 4. Evaluation of final composting products effectivenessproofofconcept study).

D4.1. Report on final composting products effectiveness.

Workpackage 5. Feasibility study.

D5.1. Feasibility study.

Workpackage 6. Dissemination activities.

D6.1. Upgrade of existing website.

D6.2. Dissemination of results (presentation of results to at least 1 international conference or/and submission of at least 1 paper to peer-review journal).

D6.3. Organization of 2 conferences for dissemination of project results.

D6.4. Presentation of the results and products to an international exhibition.

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