American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2013, 4, 1811-1814 Published Online September 2013 (
Effect of Dilution of Treated Distillery Effluent (TDE) on
Soil Properties and Yield of Sugarcane
Previna Sivaloganathan*, Baskar Murugaiyan, Saravanan Appavou, Leninraja Dharmaraj
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute, Trichira-
palli, India.
Email: *
Received June 16th, 2013; revised July 17th, 2013; accepted August 19th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Previna Sivaloganathan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sugarcane is one of the most important cash crops, which plays a pivotal role in India’s agricultural and indu strial econ-
omy. The treated distillery effluent (TDE) being plant originated, contains all p lant nutrients and organic matter. There-
fore, it is being used as a cheap source of nutrients and organic manure in agricultu re activities in soil besides improving
soil physical properties. The experiment was conducted during August, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 with CO 86032 in a
randomized block design with six treatments and was replicated four times. The TDE was discharged @ 1.00, 0.50,
0.33, 0.25 and 0.20 lakh liters·ha–1 to get the dilutions of 1:10, 1:20, 1:30, 1:40 and 1:50 dilutions respectively. It was
applied four times at 40 days in terval starting from 45th day after planting. The fertilizers viz., N and P @ 75 percent of
the recommended dose were applied and K was skipped. The results revealed that irrigation with TDE at 1:10 dilution
resulted in higher yield of sugarcane. The TDE did not have any influence on quality parameters of sugarcane. The TDE
application favourably influenced the available nutrients and organic carbon content in the soil. Besides, the present
findings credibly proved that the TDE application not only enhanced the soil fertility status but also substituted for 25
percent of N and P and 100 percent of K fertilizers to sugarcane crop.
Keywords: TDE; Dilution; Sugarcane; Yield; Soil Properties
1. Introduction
Molasses based distillery units discharge large quantities
of effluent and these units face problems in the disposal
of effluent. This effluent has high percentage of organic
materials, which have high percentage of biological oxy-
gen demand (BOD) (90,000 to 100,000 mg·L–1). Indis-
criminate disposal of the effluent in water and on d ilution
land leads to serious pollution and changes the nutrient
and biological status of the soil where they are disposed
of. So it should be diluted with irrigation water and then
applied to growing crops. Technology has been devel-
oped to use this effluent as fertigation source to crops
like sugarcane, sunflower etc., after diluting it with irri-
gation water to reduce the BOD level in the ratios of 1:10
to 1:50. The present study was undertaken with a view to
study the effect of treated distillery effluent on the sug-
arcane yield and quality and also their nutrient status in
the soil.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Experimental Site
The research was conducted with application of TDE
through irrigation water during off season of 2010-2011
and 2011-2012 at experimental site of M/s EID Parry (I)
Ltd., cane farm, Edayanvelli, Cuddalore district, Tamil
Nadu. The experimental site lies geographically in be-
tween 11˚46' and 19˚6' North Latitude and 79˚40' and
5˚1' East Longitude and at an altitu de of 62 metres above
mean sea level. Trail was conducted with sandy loam in
texture and the so il, the intial soil pH was 8.40, ESP 11.2
per cent and EC 0.10 dS·m–1. The soil organic carbon
content was 0.50 per cent and the soil available N was
low in status, whereas available P and K were medium in
status (Table 1). The treated distillery effluent (TDE)
used in this stud y was collected from the molasses based
distillery industry M/s EID Parry India Ltd., Nellikup-
pam, Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu (Table 2). It was
analysed for various physic-chemical properties.
*Corresponding author.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. AJPS
Effect of Dilution of Treated Distillery Effluent (TDE) on Soil Properties and Yield of Sugarcane
Table 1. Characteristics of treated distillery effluent (TDE).
Parameters Values Parameters Values (ppm)
pH 7.3
Organic carbon
(percent) 27.4
EC (dS·m–1) 29.5 Nitrogen 1350
BOD 4500 Phosphorus 550
COD 48,000 Potassium 9500
Total solids
(ppm) 85,000 Sulphates 4650
Suspended solids
(ppm) 8400 Sodium 456
Dissolved solids
(ppm) 55,000 Calcium 2345
(ppm) 2406 Copper 65
Zinc 11 Iron 4.3
Values are in mg·L–1 unless otherwise stated.
Table 2. Characteristics of experimental soil.
S No Parameter Values
1. Soil Series Vadalapakkam
2. Soil taxonomy
Typic Haplustalf
3. Texture Sandy loam
4. Bulk density (Mg·m–3) 1.32
5. Particle density (Mg·m–3) 2.33
6. Pore space (%) 30.2
7. Water holding capacity (%) 36.4
8. pH 8.38
9. EC (dS·m–1) 0.10
10. CEC (cmol p(+) kg–1 15.6
11. Organic carbon (per cent) 0.37
12. Available N (kg·ha–1) 123
13. Available P ( kg·ha–1) 15.1
14. Available K (kg·ha–1) 212
15. Exchangeable Calcium
(cmol (p+) kg–1) 7.40
16. Exchangeable Magnesium
(cmol (p+) kg–1) 3.50
17. Exchan ge a b l e S o d i um
(cmol (p+) kg–1) 1.52
18. Exchangeable Potassium
(cmol (p+) kg–1) 0.25
19. ESP (%) 12.0
2.2. Experimental Design and Treatment Details
The experiment was conducted in a randomized block
design with six treatments viz., control (T1); 1:10 dilution
(T2); 1:20 dilution (T3); 1:30 dilution (T4) 1:40 dilution
(T4) and 1:50 dilution (T5). The treated distillery efflu ent
was discharged at the rate of 1.00, 0.50, 0.33, 0.25 and
0.20 lakh litres·ha–1 to get the dilutions of 1:10, 1:20,
1:30, 1:40 and 1:50 respectively. The diluted treated dis-
tillery effluent was applied four times at 40 days interval
starting from 45th day after planting. The N and P fertil-
izers were applied at the rate of 75 percent of the rec-
ommended dose. K was skipped from the fertilizer sche-
dule. The soil and plant samples were collected at harvest
stage and assessed for the availability of nutrients in soil,
apart from the yield and quality parameters.
2.3. Statistical Analysis
The data were statistically analysed following the proce-
dure [1] for randomized block design. Whenever signifi-
cant difference existed, critical difference was construc-
ted at five per cent p robability level. Such of those treat-
ments where the difference are not significant are de-
noted as NS.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Effect of Soil pH
The soil pH was changed towards near neutral from the
initial value of 8.35. The pH declined from 8.38 in con-
trol (T1), to 7.85, 7.88, 7.98, 8.10 and 8.19 due to the
TDE application at the rate of 1:10 (T2), 1:20 (T3), 1:30
(T4), 1:40 (T5) and 1:50 (T6) respectively. However, the
differences were not significant. The application of dif-
ferent dilutions of TDE did not affect the soil pH sign ifi-
cantly (Table 3). Since the distillery effluent contained
appreciable amount of basic cations and organic matter,
its application to soil might have a direct impact on the
physico-chemical properties of soil. The supply of Ca2+
and Mg2+ by treated distillery effluent might have influ-
enced the pH of soil and maintained around neutral.
3.2. Effect of Soil EC
The EC of the post harvest soil was increased from the
initial value of 0.10 to 0.37 dS·m–1 due to the application
of TDE at 1:10 dilution (T2). Though the EC of the soil
increased due to application of TDE, the EC of the TDE
applied soil was well within the safer limit (Table 4).
The soluble salt content measured in the experiment
showed that the salt accumulation was leached because
of 10 to 40 irrigations and also due to precipitation of
monsoon and sandy loam in texture. Thus the EC of the
soil was maintained within the safe limits up to TDE at
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. AJPS
Effect of Dilution of Treated Distillery Effluent (TDE) on Soil Properties and Yield of Sugarcane 1813
Table 3. Effect of TDE at different dilutions on chemical
properties of soil.
Treatments pH EC OC
(dS·m–1) (percent)
T1—Control 8.38 0.12 0.46
T2—1:10 T dilution 8.01 0.36 0.89
T3—1:20 T dilution 8.06 0.33 0.83
T4—1:30 T dilution 8.12 0.28 0.75
T5—1:40 T dilution 8.17 0.29 0.75
T6—1:50 T dilution 8.19 0.26 0.74
SE d 0.23 0.01 0.03
CD (0.05 ) NS NS 0.06
Table 4. Effect of TDE at different dilutions on chemical
properties of soil.
Treatments Alkaline
KMnO4-N 0.5 M
Neutral Normal
T1—Control 230 17.7 268
T2—1:10 T dilution 286 28.3 510
T3—1:20 T dilution 272 26.4 479
T4—1:30 T dilution 265 24.8 460
T5—1:40 T dilution 261 24.0 448
T6—1:50 T dilution 256 23.6 434
SE d 6 1.1 12
CD (0.05 ) 14 2.3 25
the rate of 1.0 lakh litres·ha–1 application. It also noted
that an increase in so il EC but within the safe li mit of 1.0
dS·m–1 due to the application of distillery effluent, which
support the findings of the present study [2,3].
3.3. Effect of Organic Carbon
The organic carbon content of the soil had significantly
increased corresponding to the quantity of TDE added
through irrigation water (Table 4). The organic carbon
content of soil was found to be increasing significantly at
1:10/1:20 dilutions and further dilutions proved to have
decreased organic carbon v alues. The increase in organic
carbon also might be due to decomposition and humifi-
cation of organic matter in soil supplied through TDE.
3.4. Effect of Alkaline KMnO4-N
The supply of TDE (four times per year) resulted in sig-
nificant build up in available N content at post harvest
soil. Increase in rate of TDE application, increased the
alkaline KMnO4-N content of the soil (Ta ble 4). Though
the TDE application had significant positive effect on
alkaline KMnO4-N as compared to control, the graded
dilutions did not produce any spectacular variations
amongst themselves. This might be due to the addition of
organic matter in the form of TDE would have provided
the source of N for the multiplication of microbes and
subsequent increase in the nutrient av ailability during the
decomposition as observed in sugarcane [4].
3.5. Effect of 0.5 M NaHCO3-P
The 0.5 M NaHCO3-P in post harvest soil was found to
be influenced by TDE application (Table 4). The highest
0.5 M NaHCO3-P recorded in 1:10 (T2) (27.9 kg·ha–1)
whereas lowest in control (T1) (17.7 kg·ha–1). Though
TDE was not acidic, the decomposition processes of eas-
ily degradable organics might have reduced the binding
energy and P sorption capacity of the soil, favouring
higher P availability in the soil. Similar results were re-
ported [5,6 ].
3.6. Effect of Neutral Normal Ammonium
The neutral normal ammonium acetate-K content in all
the treatments was increased by TDE (Table 4). The
highest value was noticed in 1:10 (T2) (499 kg·ha–1)
whereas lowest in control (272 kg·ha–1). However, the in-
crease in soil neutral normal ammonium acetate-K was
not significant beyond the dilution of 1:20 (T3). The avai-
lable K in the soil got increased 4 to 5 times due to the
TDE irrigation which might be due to the fact that K was
one of the compon ents supplied in larger quantities [7 ].
3.7. Effect of Cane Yield
The sugarcane yield was remarkably increased with the
application of TDE together with irrigation water at dif-
ferent dilutions compared to co ntrol (Table 5). The high-
est cane yield (115 t·ha–1) was recorded in the plots
which received 1:10 dilutions (T2), whereas lowest yield
was noticed in control plot (78 t·ha–1) at post harvest soil.
The nutrient addition by TDE th rough frequent irrigation
leading to continuous and steady availability of nu trients.
Similar increases in sugarcane yields for TDE application
through irrigations were earlier reported by [8,9].
3.8. Effect of Quality Parameters
The quality para meters viz., brix, pol, purity and CCS per
cent were found to be numerically higher in the plots
which received TDE at 1:10 dilution (18.27, 16.40, 89.76
nd 11.74 per cent) and the contro l (T1) reco rded the low- a
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. AJPS
Effect of Dilution of Treated Distillery Effluent (TDE) on Soil Properties and Yield of Sugarcane
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. AJPS
Table 5. Effect of TDE at different dilutions on cane yield (t·ha–1) and quality parameters of sugarcane.
Treatments Yield (t·ha–1) Brix (%) Pol (%) Purity (%) CCS (%) Sugar yield (t·ha–1)
T1—Control 78.0 18.04 16.17 89.63 11.57 9.02
T2—1:10 T dilution 115.0 18.27 16.40 89.76 11.74 13.50
T3—1:20 T dilution 110.0 18.25 16.38 89.75 11.72 12.89
T4—1:30 T dilution 102.0 18.22 16.35 89.74 11.70 11.93
T5—1:40 T dilution 96.0 18.20 16.33 89.73 11.69 11.22
T6—1:50 T dilution 90.0 18.20 16.33 89.73 11.69 10.52
SE d 2.8 0.25 0.24 1.40 0.23 0.05
CD (0.05 ) 6.1 NS NS NS NS 0.10
est (18.04, 16.17, 89.63 and 11.57 percent) respectively
(Table 5). The treatment effect did not influence the
quality parameters of the cane. The treatment of graded
doses of TDE did not influence on quality parameters.
Similar findings were also reported by [5].
4. Conclusion
Based on the above results, the TDE could be benefi-
cially recycled in sandy loam soil at 1:10 dilution for
getting higher cane yield and enhanced soil fertility. Be-
sides, the present findings credibly proved that the TDE
application not only enhanced the soil fertility status but
also substituted for 25 percent of N and P and 100 per
cent of K fertilizers to sugarcane crop. This reduction in
fertilizer cost has directly increased the benefit: cost ratio
and has resulted in higher remuneration. Since there was
no sign of environmental pollution as to ei t her crop growth
or the soil health at any point of time due to effluent ap-
plication, it can be recycled judiciously in agriculture for
enhancing crop production.
5. Acknowledgements
We wish to express their gratitude to M/s EID Parry (I)
Limited, Nellikuppam, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu
for providing financial support to this study.
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