5 Amazing Uses of Biosolid Waste

In Canada, the United States and Europe, biosolid waste has been used on agricultural land for more than 30 years. Farms lands have been using biosolids to bring nutrients back to the soil. Below are 5 examples of how biosolid waste can be beneficial to the community and the environment.

Biosolids as Agricultural Fertilizer

Biosolids are beneficial for agriculture because of its rich nutrient content and organic material. It plays a key role as a cheaper organic fertilizer alternative for farmlands.

Crops require essential nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous which can be derived from biosolids. The organic matter found in biosolids also promote moisture retention, soil structure, permeability, reduces wind and water erosion, and enhances the uptake of plant nutrients. Biosolids improve soil fertility, offsetting the need for commercial fertilizers.

Commercial fertilizers are resource-intensive and can contribute to increased greenhouse gas emissions. The application of biosolids to agricultural lands is an environmentally sound option.

Biosolids as Fuel

Scientists and engineers continue to find new avenues for biosolids to be utilized commercially. Researchers from Malaysia have been able to produce a high-grade bio-charcoal called biochar.

Biochar is a biosolids-derived charcoal that gives off less smoke and has a high calorific value, lower volatile content, high fixed carbon content and high surface area. It is a sustainable solid fuel with lower emissions suitable for high energy demand industries.

Biosolids as Construction Materials

Biosolid waste can be used as raw material for fired-clay bricks. Producing bricks using biosolids only requires around half the energy compared to conventional bricks. These bricks are also more porous than standard bricks, giving them lower thermal conductivity. This would allow buildings to have better environmental performance because of the reduced heat transfer.

It is estimated that more than 3 billion cubic metres of clay soil is dug up each year for the global brickmaking industry to produce about 1.5 trillion bricks. Using biosolid waste for bricks could be the solution to these big environmental challenges.

Biosolids to Rehabilitate Mining Lands

Mine tailings are waste materials left over by the mining process. They are toxic to humans and wildlife and pose significant environmental damage. Storage and handling of tailings is a serious environmental issue.

Biosolids have been found to be a viable solution for rehabilitating mining areas because of the nutrients that it can bring back to the soil. This was significant because mine tailings are very difficult to vegetate given its lack of nutrients, its acidity as well as the sandy nature of the material. The use of biosolids mixed with organic materials can help bring back soil health.

Biosolids to Mitigate Climate Change

Researchers have found that it is possible capture carbon in the soil with the use of biosolids. Its carbon-rich properties adequately restore carbon deposits in the soil and lock in carbon from being released into the atmosphere in a process known as carbon sequestration. Biosolids not only improve soil fertility but it can also lock up carbon for long periods because they contain up to 30% non-degradable carbon.

If you are a municipality in Ontario and in need of a biosolids management solution, please feel free to contact us at 1 (877) 479-1388.


5 Amazing Uses of Biosolid Waste
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