offers water solution
July 1, 2004
No author given at originating website.
The Budapest Sun
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An almost 20-year-old but still unused
invention by a Hungarian could provide a cost-efficient solution to
both the elimination of sewage sludge and the fertilization of the
soil, says Mihaly Kohler, owner of the patent.
Kohler promises the process will not require additional pharmaceutical
"After the use of this fertilizer, the plants will be so rich in
mineral elements that it will not be necessary to complement the food
with pharmaceutical products," Kohler, a former professor at the
current Agriculture Center of the Debrecen University told The
In addition, the usage of sewage sludge, otherwise treated as
hazardous waste, relieves municipalities of the burden of get rid of
the smelly substance.
The patented process makes use of ryolite tufa, a volcanic
mineral found in abundance in the Zemplen Mountains in
The mineral is used primarily in the construction industry,
but the leftovers have been extensively utilized in agriculture.
"Approaching agriculture from the environmentally conscious side,
I started to look into how ryolite could be useful in treating
communal waste waters, sewage sludge and manure and turning them into
fertilizers," Kohler said.
In the European Union, 50-90% of sewage sludge is recycled, albeit via
a different method.
In Hungary, the sewage drains away to the countryside where it is
often untreated in most small settlements.
A striking example of an untreated sewage flow is
the exit of the underground pipeline excreting its content straight
into the Danube next to Erzsebet hid.
"With this treatment method, small settlements could resolve
their sewage problems, and at the same time could produce nurturing
stuff for their soil.
"The end result is water without any smell and
sufficiently clean for irrigation," said Kohler, whose invention
took 18 years to bring to fruition.
The sewage sludge-based fertilizer is currently under production in
Miskolc where the local waterworks started the manufacturing in
The product is delivered in powder form, and can be used for
all sorts of field crops, vegetables, fruits and flowers without any
"The organic litter is turned into minerals by the microorganisms
in the soil, then the minerals are in turn processed by the plants.
"That way by consuming the plant, humans have sufficient source
of minerals and no further food complements are necessary," said
Kohler when describing the cycle.
While the ryolite phase can be added to modern
large-scale sewage treatment processes, the method works best
for small settlements.
Copyright 2004, The Budapest Sun