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Agricultural utilization of biosolids: A review on potential effects on soil and plant grown

Sharma, Bhavisha, Sarkar, Abhijit, Singh, Pooja, Singh, Rajeev Pratap
Waste management 2017 v.64 pp. 117-132
bioavailability, biosolids, cropland, food chain, heavy metals, nutrients, recycling, sewage sludge, soil, soil amendments, toxicity
Environmental and economic implications linked with the proper ecofriendly disposal of modern day wastes, has made it essential to come up with alternative waste management practices that reduce the environmental pressures resulting from unwise disposal of such wastes. Urban wastes like biosolids are loaded with essential plant nutrients. In this view, agricultural use of biosolids would enable recycling of these nutrients and could be a sustainable approach towards management of this hugely generated waste. Therefore biosolids i.e. sewage sludge can serve as an important resource for agricultural utilization. Biosolids are characterized by the occurrence of beneficial plant nutrients (essential elements and micro and macronutrients) which can make help them to work as an effective soil amendment, thereby minimizing the reliance on chemical fertilizers.However, biosolids might contain toxic heavy metals that may limit its usage in the cropland. Heavy metals at higher concentration than the permissible limits may lead to food chain contamination and have fatal consequences. Biosolids amendment in soil can improve physical and nutrient property of soil depending on the quantity and portion of the mixture. Hence, biosolids can be a promising soil ameliorating supplement to increase plant productivity, reduce bioavailability of heavy metals and also lead to effective waste management.