Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-2062
1999-07-12

The Utilization of Recovered Nutrients from Composted Inedible Wheat Biomass to Support Plant Growth for BLSS 1999-01-2062

As part of NASA’s continued interest in the feasibility of Bioregenerative Life Support Systems (BLSS), research has focused on increasing the efficiency of bioregenerative technology. To reduce the costs associated with recovery of plant nutrients from inedible crop biomass, composting combined with leaching appears to be an attractive alternative to continuously stirred tank reactors. Tests at Kennedy Space Center investigating the effects of pre-processing of inedible wheat biomass composted for 21 days prior to leaching on nutrient recovery and growth of a subsequent wheat crop have been performed. In long-term hydroponic tests, pre-processed compost leachate was amended with reagent grade nutrients to approximate half-strength Hoagland’s solution. Although reductions in growth and yield were observed for plants grown on pre-processed compost leachate compared to the control, the differences were not statistically significant. These results indicate that there appears to be no phytotoxic effects associated with recovered nutrients from composted inedible crop biomass.

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