Compost Fertilizer production from Sugar Press Mud (SPM

Suneela Sardar, Suhaib Umer Ilyas+, Shahid Raza Malik and Kashif Javaid
Department of Chemical Engineering, NFC-Institute of Engineering & Fertilizer Research, Faisalabad
38090, Pakistan

Abstract: Compost produced from biological wastes does not contain any chemicals unfavorable to
living soil. This organic fertilizer is also one of them which contain phosphate, nitrogen solubilizing
bacteria and decomposing fungi, which is co-friendly and protect the plants from various soil borne
diseases. Results of trial based production of Compost at large scale is discussed. Different ratios of sugar
press mud (SPM), Molasses and Rock Phosphate was mixed, piled and transformed in to Compost
products in about 14-21 days. Single super phosphate (SSP) & Sulfur mud was also added and
investigated to increase the Phosphoric components of Compost to produce a good quality of biofertilizer.
In the end, granulation of this bio fertilizer was also investigated at different temperatures using Rotary
dryers to produce grains for the ease of farmers.

Keywords: Biological Waste, Nitrogen solubilizing bacteria, Sugar press mud (SPM), Soil borne disease,

1. Introduction
Since 19th century, sugarcane is grown in
different countries for sugar production primarily.
Due to energy crises, scientists and researchers have
realized the value of sugarcane, it’s by products and
co-products. Sugarcane is processed to sugar and
biomass. This biomass contains many components
like lignin, fiber, pith and pentosans, which has
plenty of applications in biochemical & microbial
fields. [1] In this research paper, the main focus is to
use one of the by-product i.e. Sugar press mud
(SPM), which is converted in to compost fertilizer.
Production of composed fertilizer from lingocellulosic residues of by-products of sugar industries
is found to be worthy for maintaining health of plant
and soil properties and protects the plant from
various soil borne diseases. In this research paper, an
experimental large scale composting of SPM on trial
basis is discussed.
In many areas SPM is directly transported to
the fields from sugar mills as an organic
enhancement to fields. Due to this practice, cane
sugar yield has been increased causing decrease in
demand of inorganic fertilizers. [2] Being a flexible
crop, sugarcane is a rich source of:
(a) Fiber containing cellulose material
(b) Food containing sucrose, fructose, syrups
and jaggery
(c) Fodder made from green leaves and top of
cane, molasses, bagass, sugar press mud
(d) Fuel from residue/waste of sugar industry


(e) Chemicals like alcohol, bagasse & molasses
There are three main by-products of sugar industry,
which has great economic value:
(a) Sugar press mud (SPM)
(b) Bagasse
(c) Molasses
1.1 Availability in Pakistan:
In Pakistan there are almost 81 sugar mills
of crushing capacity of 6.1 Million tons. Sugarcane is
planted on approximately 1.1 M Hectors producing
5.5 Million tones sugar with an average yield of 51
tones per Hector. In which almost 82-84 % cane is
utilized in sugar industries. Sugar yield in Pakistan is
approximately 4 tones per hector. According to an
estimate Pakistan sugar industry is producing about
1.2-1.8 million tones of SPM every year.

2. Literature survey
For healthier crops and vegetables, organic
fertilizers that have negligible amounts of chemicals
are gaining more attention than chemical fertilizers.
They are preferable because they provide organic
nutrients to plant and enhance the yield. [3][4]
Compost fertilizer improves the microbial properties
of soil and raises the enzymes profile. [5] Sugar press
mud can be composted through degradation of
biological enzymes to improve plant growth and
crops productivity [6]. Organic wastes from sugar
industries like SPM are enriched with Nitrogen and
Phosphorous, which are the main part of nutrients of

Corresponding author. Tel.: +92-333-6556811; fax: +92-41-9220360
E-mail address:

phosphorous and sulfur then the end product of aerobic process may also include their oxidized forms.e. Compost fertilizer is always evaluated by the percentage of organic matters in the final product.5 16-16. Aerobic process results in CO2 and water. Composition of SPM varies with different industries by the following factors: (a) Classification methods (b) Variety of cane (c) Locality (d) Mill efficiency (e) Soil type (f) Nutrients available This SPM is produced at a rate of 7-9% of total weight of sugar cane in Carbonation industries and 3-5 % in sulfitation industries. Akbari et al reported the application of Azospirillum sp. Application of compost fertilizer consisting of many kinds of microorganisms & Azotobacter were reported by Gharib et al during his research on enhancing the total amount of essential oil in sweet marjoram[11]. Table 1: Percentage of nutrients present in sugar press mud + Nutrients Sucrose Glucose & Fructose Moisture Ash Calcium and Potassium Non-sugar compounds Other mineral contents Corresponding author.2 Molasses: During production of sugar. Straws in the SPM are also digested and converted into powder form after 14-21 days piling process. animal feed and industrial use as a building lime after calcinations process. the by-product is Molasses. commercial purposes such as alcohols and automobile fuel. SPM produced during extraction of sugar as an impurity has multiplex uses like as a fertilizer. The composition of molasses used to produce biofertilizer is listed in Table 2. K solubilizing bacteria and some microorganisms were reported by Zadi & Khan [10]. crude proteins sugar. Calcium. Stable products are formed by the aerobic digestion due to reduction in mass and volume. Ca. Iron. Manganese. Aerobic digestion contains those microorganisms (fungi etc) which enhance the composting process than anaerobic bacteria. Organic matter and available K. 3. SPM contains 50-70% moisture. The composition of molasses has considerable variation depending on the same factors as discuses above in the SPM compositions.1 Sugar press Mud: Sugar press mud (SPM) is also termed as press mud cake or filter cake. Sr. produces cake. Compost Fertilizer: 3.5 Silicon. To enhance the yield and growth of wheat. The composition of SPM used to produce biofertilizer is listed in Table 1. In Pakistan around 2..crop [7].com . and all other carbon containing components available in the final product. Sr. fungi. fax: +92-41-9220360 E-mail address: suhaibui@yahoo. wax. batch type filter presses or rotary vacuum filtration process or. 3. [9]. application of N fixing bacteria.5 4.5 million metric tons (MMT) of molasses is produced which has multiplex uses like production of alco-chemical & ethanol. MgO & P2O5 is also detected in some appreciable amount in SPM.3 Digestion process: In case of aerobic digestion like composting. Both types of filtration processes i. An average of 23 Liter of Molasses is produced per ton of sugar cane. Mg. Pile releases energy due to the oxidization of CO2 and water in aerobic digestion.8-5 2-3 1-2 Table 2: Percentage of nutrients present in Molasses 3. Tel. Nutrients % 1 Moisture 50-65 2 Fiber 20-30 3 Crude wax 7-15 4 Sugar 5-12 5 Crude protein 5-10 6 Nitrogen 2-2. cane juice contains a large number of impurities which are in the form of precipitates and these impurities are separated using filtration process. During the processing of sugarcane. which is very favorable for earthworms as they breathe through their skin [8].: +92-333-6556811. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 % 30-35 10-25 23-23. If the biodegradable starting material contains nitrogen. which is a bacterial specie producing auxin that abruptly enhanced the wheat root system [12]. the microorganisms present in the pile get free oxygen from the air or its surrounding. Organic matter contains all types of fiber. P contents are also increased by the addition of organic fertilizer. It is a viscous liquid which is separated from masecuite.

878 0. It is not taking part in any reaction or during digestion process. 4. Container was marked at the filing point of material which is to be tested for approximately 4-5 hours at room temperature. in which the compost fertilizer was tested on seeds of many crops and their effect was compared with other types of chemical fertilizers.1 Raw Materials Description: For the production of bio-fertilizer raw materials used are Sugar Press Mud (SPM). If it is increased from 0.e. Tel. These experiments and production are done in Lyallpur Chemical and Fertilizer (Pvt) Ltd. Raw Material Sugar Press Mud Local Rock Phosphate Molasses SSP Sulfur Mud Fraction 0.0 0. 4.095 Percentage % 87. The complete specifications are given in Table 3. Local Rock phosphate. Jhang. The color of the gel was changed. Hussain Sugar Mill and Shaker Ganj Sugar Mill. SPM obtained from both industries have different content of organic matter.5 0. Carbon Test/Organic matter: Organic matter in SPM contains carbonaceous material which is tested Corresponding author.5% then it will give the whitish color in the product which shows its excess.8 9. Solvita kit test was carried out on laboratory scale to estimate the CO2 and NH3 contents by a colorimetric gel enclosed in a plastic container which is fixed with paddle. Molasses.002 0. Seed germination tests were also done. Sugar press mud (SPM) and Molasses are obtained directly from nearby sugar mills i.2 Table 3: Raw material specifications in terms of fractions & percentages + Local Rock Phosphate of -200 mesh (80%) is used in composting process.5 .SPM SSP + Sulfur Mud Molasses Piling + Mixing Granulation Unit Storage Recycle Screening Unit Rock Phosphate Packaging Unit Distribution Unit Figure 1: Block diagram of process description of Compost fertilizer Production 4. This color change was then compared with the chart available and recorded. Jaranvala.: +92-333-6556811.005 0.02 0.5% of total raw material. Molasses is used 0. Single Super Phosphate (SSP) & some amount of sulfur mud. fax: +92-41-9220360 E-mail address: suhaibui@yahoo.2 Testing of Raw Materials: Following tests raw materials and products are carried out before processing: • Maturity/stability of compost • Carbon test • Moisture test • PH test Maturity/Stability of Compost: For stability of compost. Process Description: Production of compost fertilizer is very simple process as described in block diagram in figure 1. It is the main raw material and it contains 40-50% of organic matter.

5 % of total raw material) and water are sprayed before entering the dryer for the formation of granules. A horizontal Rotary dryer is used to form granules at a temperature of 240-250 0C. Organic matter starts burning when the temperature reaches to 250°C and completely burned at 450°C. Results: Bio-fertilizer as a final product is shown in fig 3. amount of organic matter is obtained as shown in Figure 1. Here molasses (0. First the SPM.through ‘Carbon Test’. Figure 2: Turner mixing the compost and watering during piling of compost. Then the moisture contents are calculated by subtracting the final weight of sample from initial weight. 25% of organic matter is present in the final product and amount of molasses present is 0. Figure 3: Final product of compost fertilizer Final product contains 25% organic matter. Product of required size is sent to Packaging unit where it is packed in the bags through auto-filling. fax: +92-41-9220360 E-mail address: suhaibui@yahoo. Sample of SPM is heated in the furnace up to 450oC for 30 min.[2] Figure 1: Effect of temperature on orgnaic matter Moisture Test: The sample is placed in an oven and heated at 100-1030C for about 160 mins. + Screening Unit: After granulation of compost.: +92-333-6556811. PH test: PH test of molasses was carried out and found it 5. it is sent to screening unit.7lb/gal. This screening unit is same as the screening process used for SSP screening.3 Processing: Composting/Digestion: This experiment was done in open air atmospheric conditions at a temperature of 30-35 0C. were mixed thoroughly and piled of approximately 100110 ft in length above ground level.5 ft high in semicircle shape.5%. Corresponding author. 4. And then by subtracting the initial weight from the final weight. Granulation Unit: The compost mixture from the digestion unit is then sent to granulation unit. local rock . the mixture was mixed. These piles were given time to be composited and to complete digestion process for about 14-21 days. 5. Tel. 3-4 ft in width and 2-2. A turner was used for turning process to maintain uniformity and thoroughly mixing as shown in Figure 2. Average size of the bio-fertilizer should be of 5mm diameter for the ease of farmer and good quality granule. turned and watered after every three days to maintain moisture content of 50-60 %. During piling. SSP and sulfur mud with the specifications given in Table 1. Oversize and undersize granules are recycled again to dryer unit. Testing of final product: After the production of bio-fertilizer it is tested. And then finally product is sent to distribution unit.1 Density test: Density test of molasses was also carried out and found to be 11.

66. Zhang X. Effects of stocking rate and moisture content on the growth and maturation of Eisenia Andrei (Oligochaeta) in pigmanure. Bio-fertilizer gives significant results when it is mixed with inorganic fertilizer according to the requirements of different crops. [4]Zhu P. If it is not added or added in lesser amount.SOLOMON(2006).Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research. 51. and Massoud ON. granules will not stay in spherical shape and will easily be de-shaped due to less stiffness. Biol. Soil Sci. Agric.5% and 30-32% P2O5 respectively. Plant Nutr. [12] Akbari GA. Sci. Rae Bareli Road. Brosius M. Apll. Agric. Moussa LA.Bio-fertilizer produced is high in phosphorous contents due to the addition of SSP and local rock phosphate as both contain 18. During digestion process even cane straws present in SPM were converted in to particles after completion of digestion process. + Corresponding author.: +92-333-6556811. C. “Potential of developing Sugarcane by-products based industry in India”. Ann Microbiol (2010) 60:685–691 [7]Narval et al. During Piling. and Rastaino JB. [6]Shivani Chaturvedi & Balraj Singh & Lata Nain.. [10] Zaidi A and Khan MDS. Int. [9] Edmeades DC.. Yang X. Allandadi I. J.19. and Tavish DM. Potential of Developing Sugarcane By-product Based Industries in India…. 10. [3]Shu YY.. Granules of bio-fertilizer produced are of good quality and spherical in shape due to the addition of Rock phosphate. Porres. Figure 4: Whitish color appears in the final product due to addition of excess amount of Molasses Key advantages of aerobic digestion/composting as compared to anaerobic digestion are:    Enhanced fungi activity Low capital equipment cost and Simple operational control Conclusions: Bio-fertilizer reduces the hardness of soil and makes it more porous due to the presence of organic matter. 381-387 (2008). 3. sulfur and other minerals. In order to keep 50-60% moisture in the pile watering was carried out. Lucknow-226 002. 2079-2092 (2005).L. Alikhani HA. References: [1] R. Soil Ecol.Solomon. Cycle Agroecosyst. Cifuentes · C. Soil Sci. 1999 [8] Dom´ınguez J and Edwards CA. J. R. Nutr. If it is added in excess quantity then the granule become so stiff. 523-529 (2007).com . 147-160 (2002). J. Plant Nutr. 28.O. It enhances the fertility of land and increase the yield of crops by improving the nutrient conditions of soil..YADAV and S.L. Ren J. [11] Gharib FA. Rolz · R. Whitish color appeared in the final product due to addition of excess amount of molasses as shown in Figure 4. de León · R. Arab SM.. Tel. 219-233 (2007). Raman et al. P. Windrow composting of sugarcane and coffee byproducts. 170.. 165-180 (2003). Wang L. Plant Nutr.Yadev and S. Soil Biol Biochem 29:743–746 (1997). World J. 443-449 (2005). [5]Bulluk LR. Evanylo GK. cannot be easily soluble in water. 1990. Dilkusha. a significant change in moisture contents was seen during digestion process. and Azanesh MH.. fax: +92-41-9220360 E-mail address: suhaibui@yahoo.. Sugar Tech 8(2&3) (2006): 104-111 [2] Sugar Tech (2010) 12(1) : 15-20. India Pp. phosphate. 104-111.