Environmental Benefits of Biosolids
Biosolids are very versatile and have a wide range of uses around the world:
- Improved crop yields. Recycling of biosolids improves soil quality and crop health and increases crop yields. Biosolids are very high in nitrogen.
- Reduced fertilizer production. Using biosolids reduces the need to use commercial nitrogen which takes huge amounts of energy to manufacture.
- Improved soil quality. The ability to absorb and store moisture is improved by the use of biosolids, reducing irrigation needs and providing natural drought resistance to soil.
- Restored lands. Restoring deforested areas, open mines and stripped land is sped up by adding biosolids to replace the natural organic material normally found in undisturbed soil.
- Reduced green house gases. Biosolids reduce green house gases (GHG) emissions by sequestering (storing) carbon in the soil and thereby delaying the release of carbon dioxide from decaying organic material.
- Alternative fuel source. Biosolids, if they are dried further and pelletized, can be burned to heat cement kilns or power biomass electrical plants.
- Electricity production. Anaerobic digestion, used in treating almost all biosolids, produces methane which in turn is used as a power source for treatment plant operations. Excess power can be also sold to the grid.
- Landfill cover. Biosolids can be used at landfills to cover trash at the end of each day. This reduces the need to use clean soil or green (plant) waste that could otherwise be composted.
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