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MARINFORSKFISK-Marine ressurser og miljø - fiskeri

ERA-NET: (FORSTERK) Workshop in the use of FT-IR for evaluating humification in marine-based composts

Alternative title: Workshop i bruk av FT-IR for evaluering av humifisering i marinbasert kompost

Awarded: NOK 0.22 mill.

Humic substances, including humic acid (HA) and fulvic acid (FA), are beneficial for soil and plant health and act as carbon sinks. They are found naturally in soil and water and are formed through a combination of chemical and biological processes as organic matter is decomposed. Humic substances are also formed during composting and their presence, and the ratio of HA to FA, can be used as indicators for compost maturity and quality. The composting process can be optimized for maximum humification by adjusting process parameters and feedstocks. Traditional analysis of humic substances involves chemical extraction and is time-consuming and costly. Analysis FT-IR spectroscopy has emerged as a viable alternative. It takes only a few minutes per sample and can be a valuable method for rapidly measuring the level of humification (i.e., completeness of decomposition) and evaluating product quality, saving time and money for both researchers and composting practitioners. However, the proper preparation of the samples is critical for achieving trustworthy results. In addition, interpretation of the results (spectra) requires specific knowledge, a spectral database with which to compare, and often the aid of statistical models. Applying FT-IR spectroscopy to evaluate humification in compost is not new, but it has not to our knowledge been applied to marine residues and marine-based composts. This project will bring together experts from the fields of FT-IR analysis and interpretation, composting for maximum humification, and composting of marine residues for a three-day workshop together with up to ten PhD candidates. It will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and competency between the experts and emerging researchers and will contribute to a greater valorization of marine residues as fertilizers and soil amendments in agriculture.

MARIGREEN_TECB consists of a three-day capacity-building and knowledge-transfer workshop bringing together PhD candidates affiliated with MARIGREEN, an ERA-NET BlueBio Cofund project, and experts in composting, humic substances, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis, chemical analysis, and horticulture. The workshop is organized by the Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture (NORSØK) where marine-based composts and fertilizers are being made for the MARIGREEN project, and will be held at the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) in Romania where the composts are being analyzed and tested in field trials. FT-IR spectroscopy is an emerging tool for the determination of humic acid (HA) content in raw materials and mature compost and for optimizing the composting process for maximum humification. The workshop will be a combination of hands-on activities in the lab using real samples from MARIGREEN to learn about chemical extraction of humic substances and FT-IR analysis and a theoretical component with lectures and presentations from the invited experts. The lectures will be recorded and published online following the workshop. The project primarily benefits PhD candidates from MARIGREEN and other similar programs (up to a total of ten participants). It will result in a better understanding of humification during composting; knowledge about how to improve the quality of "blue" compost; and greater competence in FT-IR analysis and spectra interpretation. The invited experts will also have an opportunity to learn more about materials they have not worked with before, namely marine residual raw materials. Outcomes from the workshop will be shared in social media and published in a report that NORSØK will disseminate through relevant channels.

Funding scheme:

MARINFORSKFISK-Marine ressurser og miljø - fiskeri

Thematic Areas and Topics

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