Making Fertiliser from Brewery Wastewater
A new method of converting brewery wastewater into fertiliser
has been devised by Naxo Riera Vila who holds a master’s degree in
horticultural science from Minnesota University.
In partnership with the university's Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo Engineering department, Riera Vila created an integrated system that treats brewery wastewater more efficiently. The system uses anaerobic digestion to treat the water and treated water becomes a substitute for traditional fertiliser.
"Breweries produce a lot of wastewater,” Riera Vila says. “It’s rich in organic matter and it was made in a system for human consumption. It’s ideal—lots of nutrients, no pathogens."
Little research exists on using treated wastewater as a fertilizer, and the project was slow to start. After perfecting their anaerobic digestion process and switching from a hydroponic system to standard pot watering, the data showed an exciting result. The mustard, basil, and lettuce plants that received treated wastewater grew just as well as those receiving traditional fertilizer.
"Even the plants getting untreated wastewater grew well!" Riera Vila says.
Source: University of Minnesota