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Assessment of chemical properties of locally composts produced in saudi arabia composts locally produced

Author: 
Ahmad Al-Turki, Yasser El-Hadidy and Fahad Al-Romian
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Chemical properties of twenty five composts produced in Saudi Arabia were investigated in order to evaluate their quality compared to local and international standards of compost quality. Generally results showed large variations between most chemical properties of composts under the study. Electrical conductivity (EC) Ec of final composts ranged from 0.6 dSm-1 to 25.4 dSm-1 and 92% of studied composts exceeded the upper limit of accepted EC set by CCQC and PAS-100. Most pH values tended to be alkaline and % were higher than 7.5. Ammonium contents were more than 500 mgkg-1 (the maximum limit set by CCQC) in 40% of final products of compost, which may inhibit seed germination. Organic matter percentages were less than 25% (CCQC minimum limit) in 7% of composts and less than 40% (GCST minimum limit) in 76% of composts. Most C/N ratios (92%) of composts were less than 20% and complied with CCQC, GSCT standards. Nitrification index of 13 composts (52%) was above 3 and they are considered immature composts according to CCQC standards. Significant differences were shown between means of some chemical characteristics of all types of composts. Heavy metal contents of composts were below the upper limit set by CCQC and GCST with exception of Ni and Cd, which exceeded the allowable limit in 65% of and 79% respectively. In general, results showed that most local compost facilities are unable to produce a mature composts product. The high variability between chemical properties of composts confirmed the need for establishing quality assurance procedures to be applied by suitable mechanisms to produce mature compost and protect public health and the environment.

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