Soil Biotechnology – How it works

Working Principles of Life Link’s Soil Biotechnology Systems

  • Life Link’s Soil Biotechnology systems are an engineered ecology of soil-plant system configured as a packed bed reactor with multi-grade media consisting of different sizes of stone, gravel and formulated soil enriched with microflora and geophagus earthworm culture.
  • Chemistry, Biology and Ecology in Soil Biotechnology facilitates both aerobic & anaerobic respiration, and reactions like nitrification, denitrification, acidogenesis, etc. depending on the types of waste load.
  • Organics gets removed by adsorption & filtration and are biologically converted to CO2 with help of indigenous soil microflora.
  • Suspended Solids are removed in Primary Settling Unit. Dissolved Solids are removed by adsorption followed by biodegradation and uptake by green plants.
  • Media and additives provide sites for biological transformation.
  • Earthworm culture regulates microbial ecology.
  • Health of green plants bio-indicate the process.

Soil Biotechnology for Wastewater Treatment
A Soil Biotechnology system consists of an impervious containment typically 1.0 – 1.5 m below ground. Organic waste water is processed in an ecosystem consisting of soil-like media, bacterial culture, geophagus earthworms, natural mineral additives and select plants. Natural mineral additives are also used as a process regulator in order to archive desired treated water quality. Purification takes place by adsorption, filtration and biological reaction. The process operates in aerobic mode; thus eliminating possibility of foul odor. The wastewater processing area is thus developed into a green belt, which easily integrates into any existing landscape.

Life Link’s Soil Biotechnology systems are based on a deep understanding of functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in Nature. Thus, the Soil Biotechnology process, by design, integrates with the natural bio-geochemical cycles of nature. The processed water of SBT can be reused in gardening, agriculture. Since Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels are very high, the treated water is also highly compatible to aquatic life. Water quality up gradation for different end use applications can be achieved by suitable SBT process design.

Soil Biotechnology for Organic Solid Waste Processing
Soil Biotechnology harnesses the bioenergy in organic matter by integrating the elements of a productive soil ecosystem viz. soil bacteria, select earthworm and plant species and mineral nutrients. Litter pests indicate over loaded process and warrant corrective measures. Biocarbon energy contained in the waste is tapped to unlock plant nutrients from minerals, fix atmospheric nitrogen and produce metabolites to be assimilated by plants and thus prevent wasteful dissipation of the carbon energy. Presence of select aerobic bacteria and mineral additives prevent foul odor in the process.

Two grades of bio-fertiliser can be harvested from Life Link’s Soil Biotechnology process, namely, Fertilizer Grade and Culture Grade, depending on the end use application desired. The SBT waste processing area is thus developed into a green belt or garden, which easily integrates into any existing landscape.

The end uses of the bio-fertilsier include agriculture, horticulture, wasteland development and public sanitation.

Innovative Applications of Life Link’s Soil Biotechnology Systems:

  • Waste water renovation for use in gardening, irrigation, agriculture, flushing, construction,  road / car wash, etc.
  • Polishing of industrial effluent treatment to meet discharge standard
  • Processing of organic solid waste of municipalities, food processing dairies, hospitals, waste from densely populated less privileged communities including excreta.
  • Industrial feed water quality upgradation
  • Chlorine-free cleaning of swimming pools.
  • Drinking water quality improvement for rural communities

Advantages of Life Link’s Soil Biotechnology Systems:

  • Exceeds international environment norms.
  • Costs effective compared to conventional technologies
  • 25% of power consumption and 50% of operating costs of ASP
  • Produces Bio-mineral fertilizer and soil as by products
  • 10000 times more effective in bacterial removal
  • 100 times more effective in COD removal
  • Solution an be highly decentralized or centralized
  • Self sustaining revenue model
  • Backed by a knowledge base developed at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT – B)

Comparison of technology features (Conventional vs Soil Biotechnology)

Parameter Conventional     . Soil Biotechnology
Fundamental Process Separation of streams and break-down of resource (waste) molecules leading to other output streams (waste gasses, water, sludge) Synthesis of resource (waste) molecules into usable output products (flowers, plants, water, fertilizer)
Smell Smell due to ammonia and aerosols generated from aqueous phase aeration device No possibility of aerosol generation. Smell control is achieved via natural additive addition and high rate ammonia oxidation (used in Golf Clubs, where people are particular of smell)
Sludge Production Chemical and biological sludge is produced as waste by product which needs further handling like dewatering and drying for disposal No sludge is produced. Biomineral fertilizer is produced as useful byproduct.
Process Loss 15 – 20 percent of water is lost in the process since the water is held within the sludge generated during the process apart from surface loss.  Water loss is only due to evapo-transpiration loss from the filter surface. More than 90% recovery is seen.
Process Down Time Characterized by high mechanization; therefore the downtime is high.   Mechanization limited to effluent transfer/distribution pumps only. Practically no process down time.
Energy All conventional aerobic treatment processes are based on aqueous phase reaction and therefore mechanical aeration is highly energy intensive. Process driven by Natural Aeration in engineered soil ecosystem and therefore no external energy required for aeration; hence energy conservative 
Useful By-products No useful byproduct is produced. Harvestable fodder biomass, flowers, biofertiliser apart from fish compatible treated water is produced.
Sound Pollution Due to high mechanization process is characterized by sound pollution Operates quietly and therefore can be located very close to human habitation.(used in hotels)