ISSN: 1659-2751

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Use of Biofertilizers Produced from Effluents of Biodigesters on a Lettuce Crop

Abstract

The use of biodigesters has been an alternative for the treatment of sewage and other organic wastes obtaining byproducts such as biogas and effluents, the latter having great nutritional potential. However, one of the major concerns of using effluents is that it may contain pathogens when the anaerobic digestion is not carried out adequately. The goal of this research study was to evaluate the potential of effluent from biodigesters, used for treatment of cattle, swine and human waste, as biofertilizer in the cultivation of lettuce (Lactuca sativa). The results showed significant differences between the treatments and the control for the variables of plant growth and wet and dry foliar biomass. As well, the effluents from the biodigesters provided the necessary nutrients to ensure the growth and development of the plants under conditions in the humid tropics. Complimentary analysis showed that the treatments used to control the pathogens in the effluents were able to eliminate the coliform and Escherichia coli content, assuring a secure source of nutrition. However, the product used also caused a decrease in the available nutrients in the treatments, particularly P.

Key words: coliforms, biodigester effluents, Escherichia coli, fertilizer alternatives, hydroponics, lettuce (Lactuca sativa).

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