Applications & Uses
N-Viro Soil Amendment is truly a beneficial reuse product in more than one major market. It has been used extensively in the following areas:
- Land Reclamation
- Topsoil Manufacture
- Yard Waste Co-Composing
- Landfill Cover
Stabilization of Source Separated Organics (SSO) has also been tested with excellent results.
N-Viro Soil Amendment provides unparalleled value to farming operations. In fact, for the province of Ontario, where the benefits of N-Viro soil have been realized for over a decade, it is sold-out by year end due to high demand from regional farmers.
Unlike most other biosolids-derived products, N-Viro Soil Amendment is also an aglime. It has a moderate calcium carbonate equivalency (CCE) which makes it ideal for application on acidic soils as an alternate to agricultural limestone. Farmers must add alkaline soil amendment to acidic soil in order to protect crop yield. That is, most crops do not do well in acid soil conditions. For soils that exhibit low pH (acid soils), a lower CCE may be suitable however the nutrients and organics present in N-Viro Soil Amendment continue to make the product very desirable.
At present, most farmers apply N-Viro Soil Amendment at a rate of two to three tonnes per acre every second year. In this way, the beneficial levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are restored in the farmland. As well, other trace minerals essential for plant growth, such as calcium, magnesium, sulphur and zinc, are restored together with a very high level of active, organic matter in the same pass across the lands.
The N-Viro Soil recipe can be tailored to meet specific beneficial reuse requirements by changing the alkaline admixture or changing the dose rate.
Pits and Quarries
N-Viro Soil Amendment was used to rehabilitate two worked-out gravel pits in the Leamington, Ontario area. It was applied at a rate of 100 tonnes per acre (approximately 1 inch depth) and worked into the top few inches of the surface. Seed was applied and a lush growth was evident within two months.
Acid Mine Drainage Control
N-Viro Soil Amendment has been employed to rehabilitate an abandoned mine in Kentucky. Several attempts were made to reclaim the site using "standard" reclamation materials and techniques without success. N-Viro Soil Amendment was applied at the rate of 100 tonnes per acre and seeded, producing a thick growth which continued to be strong five years later.
Based on the US success, N-Viro Soil Amendment was examined by Lakefield Research in conjunction with a proposal to use it as an acid-mine drainage control in the Sudbury area of Ontario. N-Viro Soil Amendment was tested along with peat, solid waste compost and desulphurized tailings. The study concluded "The results to date from the test program show that of all the materials tested, the N-Viro Soil Amendment performed best at meeting the objectives of a good tailings cover". Land reclamation, whether at gravel pits or mining sites, is a significant potential market for the product.
High quality topsoil is a valuable asset in any urban setting, especially in heavily populated centres. Topsoil manufacturers normally have large stockpiles of poor-quality soils that must be upgraded before it is sold to customers. N-Viro Soil Amendment can be blended to increase organic matter, nutrient content and improve the physical properties of poor-grade soils. N-Viro facilities in the US have used N-Viro Soil Amendmnet in conjunction with poor-quality native soils to make high-quality, manufactured soil. The end product has gained wide acceptance in the landscape and horticultural markets.
Yard Waste Co-Composting
N-Viro Soil Amendment is also beneficial for accelerating the composting of yard wastes, controlling odours normally associated with such composting processes, and producing excellent topsoil product. Yard waste, defined as grass clippings, leaves, and tree and shrub prunings, are being collected by municipalities and turned into a beneficial reuse product. These recycling efforts often encounter a number of technical and environmental obstacles. High carbon to nitrogen ratios in the yard waste usually requires supplemental nitrogen to accelerate the rate of composting. Storage can become a limiting factor since a nine to twelve month period is required for the material to fully decompose. Odours are quite often a problem, especially in static composting. Finally, contamination with fecal coliforms and pathogens from pets and wildlife occur making overall product quality difficult to maintain.
The addition of fresh N-Viro Soil Amendment can greatly accelerate yard waste composting. The nitrogen in N-Viro Soil Amendment improves the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and increases necessary microbial degradation. The neutralizing effect of N-Viro Soil Amendment raises the pH of the mix allowing existing micro-flora to break down the carbon materials more readily. N-Viro Soil Amendment also adds micro-flora of a similar type to the mix to accelerate the initial composting process. Studies have shown that 1.4 parts by weight of fresh N-Viro Soil Amendment mixed with 1 part by weight of collected leaf yard waste accelerates the composting time by as much as six times from 12 months to less than two!
The high surface area of the alkaline materials in N-Viro Soil Amendment is effective in odour adsorption, greatly reducing one of the major concerns with composting operations. The pasteurized (not sterilized) N-Viro Soil Amendment is also very effective in inhibiting re-growth of fecal organisms and pathogens.
An important feature of co-composting with N-Viro Soil Amendment is that when mixed with one (1) part yard waste and 1.4 parts N-Viro Soil Amendment, the end product weighs less than one-half of the combined weight of the original two components. This final product can be marketed on its own as topsoil or blended to upgrade other topsoil materials.
In Middlesex, NJ, N-Viro Soil Amendment was used extensively for daily and intermediate cover at the municipal landfill. The application proved to be very effective. As other markets developed, however, production of N-Viro Soil Amendment was gradually diverted from the landfill. While it remains an effective use, the revenue potential is low and, as such, should be considered a back-up market only.
Source Separated Organics (SSO)
The N-Viro Process has shown to be effective in the stabilization of SSO and the production of an extremely valuable product, particularly for agricultural use.
By processing SSO material using the N-Viro Process, the resultant product will fall under the guidelines of the CFIA. By producing N-Viro Soil Amendment, there is much greater flexibility for marketing and sale of finished product to a variety of users rather than being restricted to the prescribed uses for composted material.
Another advantage is the ability to blend SSO material with municipal wastewater biosolids prior to the mixing stage. This will enhance the manufacturability of feedstock material and the quality of the end product.