Industrial crop production in Qatar with biosolids and treated sewage effluent and industrial water Grant uri icon


  • Biosolids or biosludge is a semi-solid by-product of wastewater treatment and is produced in large quantities in Qatar by municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in the process of treating sewage and process water respectively. Biosludge is considered a green waste and has been identified as a potential alternative and sustainable source of biofertilizer (organic matter) to reclaim poorly fertile soils to produce industrial crops (non-food crops) using millions of litres of treated sewage effluent (TSE), treated industrial water (TIW) as primary sources of irrigation water. As Qatar strives towards self-sufficiency in food production in alignment with the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030, the use of biosludge and other green wastes as soil enhancers present a unique opportunity to tap into a nutrient-rich resource that is currently wasted. The primary aim of this research project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of reclaiming non-arable land using locally generated organic material to cultivate industrial crops in Qatar using TSE and TIW. The key objectives would include to provide clear and detailed technical understanding of the impact and interactions of the biosludge and treated water with the soil-plant system and demonstrate the economic value to the State of Qatar upon full scale deployment of the research outcomes. This research is expected not only lead to the advancement of knowledge but also contribute towards a sustainable, diversified economy in Qatar. Another outcome of the research would be a standard for biosludge use and guidelines for land application of biosolids and biochar in Qatar. The industrial crops considered in this proposal for potential future cultivation in Qatar at commercial scale are fibre crops, mainly cotton (Gossypium spp.), jute (Corchorus capsularis and C. olitorius), kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus and H. sabdariffa) and sisal (Agave Sisalana). According to the National Cotton Council of America (NCCA), cotton occupies the first place as a value-added crop, as its annual business revenues exceed $120 billion in the United States. Jute and kenaf are among the least expensive and most versatile of textile fibres. The fibres are biodegradable, environmentally benign and renewable. Jute fibres are used to manufacture colourful carpets, carpet backing, cordage, decorations, apparel fabrics, blankets, geo- and agro-textiles, non-woven materials, industrial fabrics, thermal insulations and numerous utility items in a range of traditional and innovative uses. Sisal is a coarse strong fibre and is increasingly used in composite materials for cars, furniture and construction. It is a tough plant that can thrive in drought. It grows all year round in hot climates and arid regions, which are often unsuitable for other crops. The proposed project will build on the knowledge and insights gained from an ongoing collaboration project between Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre (QSRTC), Qatar Ministry of Municipality & Environment (MME) and Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), which looks at the reuse of biosludge to grow fodder crops (alfalfa and buffel grass),..........

date/time interval

  • 2020 - 2024