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KAU develops fertiliser from human hair

IBEF:  August 09, 2019

The disposal of human hair waste has been an intimidating problem for beauty parlours and salons. Kerala Agriculture University (KAU) has developed an innovative technology to treat human hair with a combination of chemical and thermal treatments. The hair samples were degraded using chemical agents with the combined application of heat, followed by neutralisation.

The outcome of this was a black solution which received after the process with milder odours was found to be an effective supplement for leafy vegetables with high concentration of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

According to Mohankumar, who is president of the Kasargodu Social Service Society, responsible for carrying out waste management in Attingal, by the technology obtained from KAU. By the technology he started producing one litre of manure from 20 gm of hair on a trial basis. The test dose was a success, as the plants sprayed with the diluted solution were found to have vigorous growth and early flowering than normal fertiliser application. Thus, 5-6 kg of human hair were collected on daily as part of waste collection in Attingal town and convert it into liquid manure at the mini lab set up in the town.

After evaluation by D Girija, Professor, Agricultural Microbiology, KAU, the concentrated solution obtained from hair samples was found to be of standard quality to be applied to the crop after diluting it with five-fold amount of water. The product, when applied to okra crop on the KAU campus, increased the vigour of the plant, height as well as yield of the crop.

The KAU technology, which is currently under evaluation by various government agencies, is expecting approval for commercial production of human hair fertiliser. This slightly modified version of technology could possibly help convert poultry feather waste, animal fur and other similar materials also into fertiliser.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.