Analysis the Plant Nutrients and Organic Matter in Textile Sludge in Gazipur, Bangladesh
M. Saiful Islam,
M. Safiqul Islam
The present research was carried out to determine the
content of essential macro nutrients (N, P, K and S) as well as Fe, total
organic carbon and total organic matter in textile sludge of Apex Weaving
and Finishing Mills Ltd., Gazipur, Bangladesh and assess its possibility
to use as a soil conditioner or fertilizer in agricultural land. The results
revealed that plant macro nutrients Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium
(K) and Sulphur (S) were found in significant amount compared to some
commonly used organic manures. The range of various macro nutrients was
1.53-2.37, 0.09-0.14, 0.11-0.17 and 2.69-3.42% for N, P, K and S, respectively.
The concentration of iron (19.52%) was also very high in the sludge than
that of in soil. Moreover; total organic carbon (19.89%) and total organic
matter (34.67%) were abundantly available in sludge. In addition, thermal
study explores that after 400 Â°C the sludge was thermally stable and
it was also confirmed by IR study that dried sludge samples showed significant
presence of water at room temperature while the samples heated up to 400
Â°C, the presence of water was barely indicated.
The pollution of natural waters with textile waste effluents has become
a serious problem in Bangladesh, as industrial growth and development
have been on a very large scale. It is also reported that textile and
dyeing factories in the world pose a major environmental threat because
of the large amounts of water and dyes involved in the manufacturing process
(Abd El-Rahim et al., 2008; Ranganathan et al., 2007).
Environmental pollution caused by textile wastewater results in adverse
effects on flora, fauna and the general health of the residents of surrounding
industrial area. Usually the textile effluents contain highly toxic dyes,
salts, acids, alkalis and bleaching agents. Heavy metals like cadmium,
copper, zinc, chromium and iron are also found in the dye effluents (Mathur
et al., 2005). Determination of toxic contaminants in sludge is
essential as it provides information on the actual risk relating to the
presence of the contaminants; their potential degradation or accumulation
by organisms and plants as well as their migration deeper into the soil
profile (Oleszczuk, 2008; Marian et al., 2005).
Although characteristics of sludge depend on the wastewater treatment
process and sludge stabilization methods, it is rich in organic compounds
and plant nutrients (Hua et al., 2008; Teixeira et al.,
2007). Plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and organic material
are very abundant in sludge could be regard as soil improvers and replace
conventional fertilizer in agricultural production (Luostarinen et
al., 2008; Gupta and Garg, 2008; Casado-Vela et al., 2006).
The present study investigated the possibility to use sludge in agricultural
land as a fertilizer since it can improve the physical, chemical and biological
properties of soils which may enhance crop growth. In addition, the use
of sludge as a fertilizer would decrease the amounts of chemical fertilizers
needed in agriculture and sludge use in agriculture could help to save
non-renewable materials or energy, a pre-requisite to achieve sustainable
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The eight sludge samples were collected from Apex Weaving and Finishing
Mills Ltd., Gazipur, Bangladesh. The samples were collected from the industry`s
different sludge treatment plants from 5th to 7th April, 2004. Collected
sludge samples were dried in an oven at about 110 Â°C for 8 h and then
the samples were ground by grinding motor and again dried till constant
weight was obtained. Then the dried samples were powdered and sieved through
a 0.5 mm sieve. The samples were carefully labeled and kept for analysis.
Aqua-Regia (9 mL HCl and 3 mL HNO3) was added to the powdered
sludge of each sample and heated on sandbath nearly to dryness. After
cooling at room temperature, deionized water was added to the samples
and was filtered through a filter paper (Whatman No. 42). The filtrate
was collected in a measuring flask and was preserved for the determination
For the determination of sulphur, potassium and phosphorous, concentrated
HNO3 (10 mL) was mixed with the sludge samples and heated nearly
to dryness. Then 5 mL of HClO4 was added to the beaker and
it was again kept on a hot plate until the mixture was almost dried. When
the color turned into white then 15 mL of deionized water was added and
mixed thoroughly. The suspension was filtered through a filter paper (Whatman
No. 42) and was preserved for the test.
Iron determination was carried out by hydroxylamine and with 1, 10 phenanthroline
at pH 3.2 to 3.3. A pH between 2.9 and 3.5, rapid color was formed in
the presence of an excess phenanthroline and the reddish-orange iron (II)
complex absorbs at 515 nm (Greenberg et al., 1998). Phosphorus
test was performed by vanadomolybadate reagent (Walsh, 1971) and the absorbance
was taken at wavelength of 470 nm. By flame photometry method, potassium
was determined at wavelength 766 and 769 mÎ¼ (Walsh, 1971). For sulphur,
digested sample (1 mL) was taken in the measuring flask followed by 1
mL of 6 N HCl and 3 mL of BaCl2-Tween solution. Then the absorbencies
of the samples were taken in between 30 and 45 min at 420 nm wavelength
(Walsh, 1971). For each determination, same experiment was also done for
standard solutions and blank tests were also done by using blank digest.
With these values, each calibration curve was constructed against known
concentrations. The concentrations of Fe, K, P and S were found from the
graphs by putting the absorbance of these samples.
Kjeldahl Method was employed for the measurement of total nitrogen and
Total Organic Carbon (TOC) was estimated by weight loss (dry) method.
For Total Organic Matter (TOM), oxidation with potassium dichromate method
was followed. In thermo-gravimetric analysis, sludge was heated at different
temperatures in a muffle furnace for 4 h from 60 to 200 Â°C at an interval
of 20 Â°C and from 200-600 Â°C at an interval of 50 Â°C. FT-IR
spectra (Shimadzu FTIR DR-8001) were also taken of the sludge at room
temperature (25 Â°C) and heated at 200, 400 and 600 Â°C.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The range of phosphorous and potassium in the sludge samples was 873.36-1413.57,
1083.68-1713.41 mg kg-1 and the percentage of P and K were
0.09-0.14 and 0.11-0.17%, respectively (Table 1). The
results were nearly similar to the potassium and phosphorous content of
some organic manure as shown in Table 3. However, commonly
used chemical fertilizers like Triple super phosphate (20%), super phosphate
(8%) and diammonium phosphate (20%) contain high concentration of phosphorus.
Similarly, muriate of potash (50%), potassium sulphate (42%) contained
high concentration of potassium in Table 2. The average
amount of nitrogen in the sludge samples was 1.99%. This result revealed
that the average concentration of nitrogen in sludge samples was approximately
similar to that of some organic manure as shown in Table
3. But Table 2 shows that commonly used chemical
fertilizers like urea, ammonium sulphate and diammonium phosphate contained
extremely higher concentrations of nitrogen than that of in the sludge
In the present study, the amount of sulphur in the sludge samples was
found 2.96% which was higher than the amount of sulphur in the chemical
fertilizers such as triple super phosphate and diammonium phosphate. However,
the amount of sulphur was significantly lowered compared to the amount
in ammonium sulphate, gypsum and potassium sulphate (Table
It is also found that the average amount of iron in the sludge samples
was 195229.53 mg kg-1 and the samples contained on an average
19.52% of iron but Mengel and Kikby (2004) confirmed that earth`s crust
contains only 5% of iron and invariably present in all soil. If the sludge
is applied in the land without further treatment, it will increase iron`s
concentration in the land.
The concentrations of total organic carbon of these samples were varied
between 15.88 and 24.33% as the components of sludge were not homogeneously
distributed. Similarly, the range of TOM of the sludge samples was 28.51-42.13%.
The average carbon nitrogen ratio of the sludge samples was 10.2 and the
range of the C/N ratio in the samples was 7.74-14.59 which was very similar
with the study by Brady and Weil (2007). The study disclosed that the
C/N ratio in agricultural top soils varied from 8.1 to 15.1.
||Amount of Fe, K, S, P, total nitrogen, total organic
carbon and total organic matter in sludge samples (mg kg-1)
|| Some commonly used chemical fertilizer and their nutrient
composition (%) (BARC, 1997)
|| Organic manure and their nutrient composition (%) (BARC,
|| Weight of sludge in different temperature
Thermo-gravimetric analysis revealed that sludge of textile and dyeing
industry mostly contains hydrated oxides of iron, aluminum hydroxide and
organic compounds. The rapid loss of weight up to 200 Â°C indicated
the loss of water. Gradual loss of weight between 200-400 Â°C indicated
the oxidation of organic matter and transformation of hydrated ferric
oxide and aluminum hydroxide into respective oxides. At room temperature,
the weight of sludge was 14.8381 g and at 200 Â°C the amount was 8.3656
g whereas at 400 and 600 Â°C, the amount was nearly unchanged, figuring
6.4267 and 6.3181 g, respectively in Fig. 1. The infrared
spectra of the sludge in nujol at different temperature showed marked
changes due to heat treatment. Since dried samples showed significant
presence of water while the sample heated up to 400 Â°C, the presence
of water was barely indicated.
The present research concludes that P, K, S and N concentrations in the
studied textile sludge samples were low compared to the commonly use chemical
fertilizers but significant compared to the nutrient compositions of some
commonly used organic manures. In addition, the amount of total organic
carbon and total organic matter in the sludge samples was also found in
very excessive quantity. Therefore, textile sludge can be able to supply
small but significant concentrations of important nutrients to soil and
it can improve soil structure, physical, chemical and biological properties
of soils and water retention property. Therefore, its use as an organic
fertilizer is potential.
We would like to extend our thanks to Dr. Syed Safiullah, Professor,
Department of Chemistry, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka-1342 and
Dr. Sirajul Hoque, Professor, Department of Soil, Water and Environment,
University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, for their sincere help for this research
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