Dr. Girish Panicker gives lecture on compost production at the Soil and Water Conservation Society of America conference

One of Alcorn State University's most consistent researchers recently spent time presenting information on advanced composting technology.

Dr. Girish Panicker, director of conservation research in the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, delivered a lecture titled "Slow Release and Environmentally-Friendly Compost Production with Magnesium and Poultry Manure" at the 73rd Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) International Conference Saturday, July 28 through Wednesday, Aug. 1 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Alcorn developed the technology in collaboration with Dr. Charles Weiss, Dr. David Ringelberg, and Dr. Phillip Malone, who are scientists for the U. S. Army. The research was conducted on the basis of the Cooperative Research and Development (CRADA) between Alcorn and the Department of Army.

The new technology promotes the bacterial production of low-solubility ammonium magnesium phosphate (Struvite) in an alternative organic composting process. This struvite based composting system reduces the ammonia air pollution problem and will also prevent groundwater pollution. This struvite-enriched compost is a new type of organic fertilizer that will be a storable, marketable, enhanced product that any animal farm can economically produce and sell. 

Panicker described why delving deep into this issue is imperative to the betterment of the environment. 

"Groundwater pollution and climate change are some of the major problems the world faces today," said Panicker. "Groundwater and surface water supplies are threatened with contamination. One of the most serious sources of non-point pollution is animal waste. The Army has made recent advances in the development of new composting procedures that allow composting problems to be overcome."

Panicker said that conducting the research is "one of the greatest achievements in my professional life."

This research paper is accepted for publication in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society of America.