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Chinese Scientists Develop Technology to Convert Potato Water Discharge to Fertilizer Read more:

Untreated wastewater.

From water waste discharge to fertilizers -- Chinese scientists have discovered a new way to make use of the water waste discharge from potato processing plants, solving the growing pollution problem in the country.

Potato is a basic food in China. However, the protein-rich water discharge from starch processors has been pointed out as a cause of river and lake pollution.

According to Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics researcher Liu Gang, up to now, there is no existing solution to this dilemma . And unfortunately, it has already driven officials to shut down more than 10,000 small plants, affecting the livelihood of both the potato market and farmers.

Liu and his team have created a technology that could divide the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the drainage from potato processing factories by filtering protein, starch and fiber. The processed water, on the other hand, need not to be disposed as the increased nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contents, which are essential nutrients for tubers' growth, make it a suitable irrigation water.

Four years of testing reveals that the processed water is not harmful to crops, and currently, there are already three starch companies using the purifying technology.

Potatoes are a perfect crop for China's parched west and northwest fields. With nearly 6 million hectares, China is known as the world's largest potato producer. The Ministry of Agriculture plans to expand the field to 10 million hectares to increase potatoes' production by up to 50 million tonnes in 2020.
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