Satya Narayana Kiruthika Sathiasivan Sunita Chauhan Mathur Rajesh


In India, cow dung is widely utilized to create formulations that serve as effective plant growth enhancers with antimicrobial properties. The cow dung-derived handmade paper manufacturing process produces two waste-liquor streams, a Raw Liquor (RL) produced through the dewatering of the cow-dung slurry and a Black Liquor (BL) produced during the soda pulping of dewatered cow dung. The present  study explored the potential of these waste streams to be used as plant biofertilizers for germination and cultivation of Vigna radiata seeds (mung bean, IPM-02-03 variety). An in vitro assay for seed germination efficiency and a pot study for plant growth promotion (PGP) activity were used to assess this potential. The in vitro assay demonstrated that nutrient-rich RL, with its 100% seed germination efficiency (better than the 85.7% of tap water) was an effective biofertilizer for seed germination. In contrast, BL yielded poor seed germination efficiency. The pot study showed that water irrigation led to good seed germination, survival, plant rooting and shooting, but it was probably deprived of nutrients for inducing good grain yields. When water was replaced with RL, it was able to replicate the results, but with good grain yields. In contrast, BL produced poorer germination, seed survival and PGP results. The poor biofertilization efficiency of BL was most probably due to the nutrient losses and toxic chemicals produced in the harsh pulping process. The  results showed that RL, though considered a waste stream, is sufficiently nutrient-rich to act as an effective biofertilizer for germinating mung bean seeds and promoting plant growth and grain yields.





Biofertilizer, Black liquor, Cow dung, Handmade paper, Raw liquor, Waste-liquor

Ahmad, A. T., Bello, I. U., Jibril, S. M., Kolawole, O. S., Ogah, J. J. & Daniel, S. (2019). Comparative evaluation of the effects of organic and inorganic fertilizers on the vegetative growth of spleen amaranth (Amaranthus dubius L). Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, 23(2), 359. https://doi.org/10.4314/jasem.v23i2.24
Annual Report (2022-2023). Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Snimal Husbandry and Dairying, Govt. of India.
Arunkumar, B. R., & Thippeshappa, G. N. (2022). Carryover Effect of Biochar and Cow Dung Manure on the Productivity of Green Gram (Vigna radiata L.) in Typic haplustalf. LEGUME RESEARCH - AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Of. https://doi.org/10.18805/LR-4755
Arunkumar, B. R. & Thippeshappa, G. N. (2023). Carryover effect of biochar and cow dung manure on the productivity of green gram (Vigna radiata L.) in Typic haplustalf.
Ashwin Kumar, A. (2010). A study on renewable energy resources in India. 2010 International Conference on Environmental Engineering and Applications, 49–53. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICEEA.2010.5596088
Avcioğlu, A. O. & Türker, U. (2012). Status and potential of biogas energy from animal wastes in Turkey. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(3), 1557–1561. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2011.11.006.
Behera, S. S. & Ray, R. C. (2021). Bioprospecting of cowdung microflora for sustainable agricultural, biotechnological and environmental applications. Current Research in Microbial Sciences, 2, 100018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crmicr.2020.100018.
Bello, W. B., Olla, N. O., Ogunjinmi, S. O., Olaniyan, M. I., Oyaniyi, T. O. & Olaifa, G. O. (2023). Effects of Cow Dung, NPK Fertilizer and Mulching on Zn, Pb Dynamics and Yield of Celosia Argentea. https://doi.org/10.5281/ZENODO.8216541.
Bhatt, K. & Maheshwari, D. K. (2019). Decoding multifarious role of cow dung bacteria in mobilization of zinc fractions along with growth promotion of C. annuum L. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 14232. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-50788-8
Bonten, L. T. C., Zwart, K. B., Rietra, R. P. J. J., Postma, R., de Haas, M. J. G. & Nysingh, S. L. (2014). Bio-slurry as fertilizer : is bio-slurry from household digesters a better fertilizer than manure? : a literature review. (Alterra-report; No. 2519). Alterra.  https://edepot.wur.nl/307735
Dhiman, S., Dubey, R. C., Maheshwari, D. K. & Kumar, S. (2019). Sulfur-oxidizing buffalo dung bacteria enhance growth and yield of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 65(5), 377–386. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjm-2018-0476.
Durso, L. M. & Cook, K. L. (2014). Impacts of antibiotic use in agriculture: What are the benefits and risks? Current Opinion in Microbiology, 19, 37–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mib.2014.05.019.
Fasake, V. & Dashora, K. (2020). Characterization and Morphology of Natural Dung Polymer for Potential Industrial Application as Bio-Based Fillers. Polymers, 12(12), 3030. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12123030.
Fasake, V. & Dashora, K. (2021). A sustainable potential source of ruminant animal waste material (dung fiber) for various industrial applications: A review. Bioresource Technology Reports, 15, 100693.
Gao, J., Luo, Y., Wei, Y., Huang, Y., Zhang, H., He, W., Sheng, H. & An, L. (2019). Screening of plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) from rhizosphere and bulk soil of Caragana microphylla in different habitats and their effects on the growth of Arabidopsis seedlings. Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment, 33(1), 921–930. https://doi.org/10.1080/13102818.2019.1629841.
Gupta, K. K., Aneja, K. R. & Rana, D. (2016). Current status of cow dung as a bioresource for sustainable development. Bioresources and Bioprocessing, 3(1), 28. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40643-016-0105-9.
Habibi, S., Djedidi, S., Ohkama-Ohtsu, N., Sarhadi, W. A., Kojima, K., Rallos, R. V., Ramirez, M. D. A., Yamaya, H., Sekimoto, H. & Yokoyama, T. (2019). Isolation and Screening of Indigenous Plant Growth-promoting Rhizobacteria from Different Rice Cultivars in Afghanistan Soils. Microbes and Environments, 34(4), 347–355. https://doi.org/10.1264/jsme2.ME18168.
Higdon, J. V., & Frei, B. (2003). Tea Catechins and Polyphenols: Health Effects, Metabolism, and Antioxidant Functions. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 43(1), 89–143. https://doi.org/10.1080/104086 903908 26 464.
Kaur, G., Brar, Y. & Kothari, D. P. (2017). Potential of Livestock Generated Biomass: Untapped Energy Source in India. Energies, 10(7), 847. https://doi.org/10.3390/en10070847.
Kumar, G., Tiwari, P. K., Atbhaiya, Y., Upadhaya, V. R., & Yadav, D. K. (2020). Beneficial Use of Vedic Indian Cow Dung. International Journal of Advances in Agricultural Science and Technology, 7(10), 6–10. https://doi.org/10.47856/IJAAST.2020.v07i10.002.
Li, F., Liang, X., Niyungeko, C., Sun, T., Liu, F., & Arai, Y. (2019). Effects of biochar amendments on soil phosphorus transformation in agricultural soils. In Advances in Agronomy (Vol. 158, pp. 131–172). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.agron.2019.07.002.
Long, C. M., Muenich, R. L., Kalcic, M. M. & Scavia, D. (2018). Use of manure nutrients from concentrated animal feeding operations. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 44(2), 245–252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2018.01.006.
Marschner’s Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. (2012). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/C2009-0-63043-9.
Mishra, O., Pathak, R., Parmar, M. S. & Doneria, R. (2020). Cow dung an undeciphered boon: An overview. The Pharma Innovation, 9(11S), 84–89. https://doi.org/10.22271/tpi.2020.v9.i11Sb.5370.
Mukhuba, M., Roopnarain, A., Adeleke, R., Moeletsi, M. & Makofane, R. (2018). Comparative assessment of bio-fertiliser quality of cow dung and anaerobic digestion effluent. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 4(1), 1435019. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311932.2018.1435019.
Ojedokun, A. T., & Bello, O. S. (2016). Sequestering heavy metals from wastewater using cow dung. Water Resources and Industry, 13, 7–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wri.2016.02.002.
Paul, E. A. & Clark, F. E. (1996). Soil microbiology and biochemistry Academic Press. New York, USA.
Phand,S., Jaya,G. & Gummagolmath, K.C.(2021). Livestock extension services: time to think beyond treatment and breed improvement. ed. Lakshmi Murthy, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad. Manage Knowledge Series no.2/2021. Vol.2, August’2021
Raj, D., Jhariya, M. & Toppo, P. (2014). Cow Dung For Ecofriendly And Sustainable Productive Farming. International Journal Of Scientific Research, 3, 201–202.
Ram, R. A., Kumar, G., Maurya, S. K., Rajan, S. & Ahmad, I. (2020). Plant growth promoting, biochemical and antifungal properties of microbes isolated from cow dung. Progressive Horticulture, 52(2), 166–172. https://doi.org/10.5958/2249-5258.2020.00025.
Ravindranath, N. H., Somashekar, H. I., Nagaraja, M. S., Sudha, P., Sangeetha, G., Bhattacharya, S. C., & Abdul Salam, P. (2005). Assessment of sustainable non-plantation biomass resources potential for energy in India. Biomass and Bioenergy, 29(3), 178–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2005.03.005.
Unc, A. & Goss, M. J. (2004). Transport of bacteria from manure and protection of water resources. Applied Soil Ecology, 25(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2003.08.007.
Xiao,C.; Fauci, M. ; Bezdicek,D.F. and Pan, W.L. (2006) Soil microbial responses to potassium based black liquor from straw pulping. Soil Sci Soc. Am. J. 70(1) : 72-77. doi: https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2004.0339.
Yang, X., Li, L., Zhao, W., Tian, Y., Zheng, R., Deng, S. & Mu, Y. (2023). The Influence of Potassium Hydroxide Concentration and Temperature on Pulp Characteristics and Cow Dung-Based Paper Performance. Journal of Natural Fibers, 20(1), 2164546. https://doi.org/10.1080/15440478.2022.2164546.
Yang, X., Li, L., Zhao, W., Wang, M., Yang, W., Tian, Y., Zheng, R., Deng, S., Mu, Y. & Zhu, X. (2023). Characteristics and Functional Application of Cellulose Fibers Extracted from Cow Dung Wastes. Materials, 16(2), 648. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16020648.
Zhang, Y., Hao, X., Alexander, T., Thomas, B. W., Shi, X. & Lupwayi, N. (2018). Long-term and legacy effects of manure application on soil microbial community composition. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 54, 269–283. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-017-1257-2.
Research Articles

How to Cite

Waste-liquors generated during Handmade paper manufacture from cow dung as a potential source of biofertilizer. (2024). Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 16(1), 400-409. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v16i1.5209