Characterization of Essential Nutrients and Heavy Metals during Municipal Solid Waste Composting
Manohara B. 1, Belagali S.L.2
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In this paper the composting process was studied for Municipal Solid Wastes in order to characterize the essential plant nutrients and heavy metals during the degradation process. The process was studied in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons and samples were collected during 10th to 60th days of composting process. Primary macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, secondary macronutrients calcium, magnesium and micronutrients/trace minerals like chlorine, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, nickel were analyzed. Heavy metals like lead, cadmium, chromium, were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. From the study, the concentrations of essential plant nutrients were found to be under the limits of Ohai- EPA standards and Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) standards. Heavy metals were also found in trace quantities and humification process caused decrease in heavy metal concentration. From the present study, it was observed that composting process was faster during monsoon season and compost produced was better source of plant nutrients.