ERDF-funded researchers in Spain and Portugal are testing organic compost to understand how it could reduce the concentration of pollutants in wastewater and lessen soil degradation. By testing different mixtures, researchers are hoping to produce better-quality compost.
The Res2ValHUM project looks to better understand the substances in organic compost. They have developed new mixtures made from green urban residues (such as tree or flower trimmings), manure, algae and worms.
The new compost is already showing strong potential. Based on observations, researchers believe it could be used as a filter for water treatment to remove pollutants, like drugs, that exist in huge amounts in wastewater.
Another team of researchers is analysing the compost’s potential to improve poor agricultural soil. Working in a lab and on a small plantation, the scientists are monitoring how the compost impacts the growth of plants and fungi by testing it on different crops. Results already show that it increases the strength, growth and proliferation of roots and affects fungi.
Research will continue to see how it can be applied at industrial scale.