Study of stillage biodegradation by respirometry in sandy and clay soils


The stillage, which is a liquid residue from the distillation of the sugarcane ethanolic fermentation, contains organic matter and can be a big source of pollution when it is discarded in the wrong way. Its application as fertilizer has been extended, which is reason to cause concerns regarding the environment. The aim of this work was to evaluate and quantify the biodegradation of stillage in sandy and clay soils, besides verifying the efficiency of the Embiotic Line®inoculum as an accelerator of the biodegradation. Bartha and Pramer respirometric technique was used to determine the production of CO2 during the 50 days of the biodegradation process, and the quantification of the initial and final microorganisms was also conducted. Results were analyzed using the Friedman statistical test. Clay soils were significantly better on stillage decomposition when compared to sandy soils (p=0.0153). Clay soils presented greater efficiency in stillage biodegradation, with higher field capacity, better water, organic matter and microbial retention. Regarding the use of the embiotic line, the experiment has shown this product does not interfere positively in the stillage biodegradation for both soils, possibly needing adjustments in its composition.



Biodegradation, Stillage, Clay soil, Sandy soil

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African Journal of Agricultural Research, v. 8, n. 35, n. 2013, p. 4506-4513, 2013.