Effective Microorganisms (EM) and their applications
Effective Microorganisms (EM) was coined by Japanese Professor Teruo Higa. EM consists of a wide variety of effective, beneficial and non-pathogenic microorganisms produced through a natural process and not chemically synthesized nor genetically engineered, and it is used in a liquid form. It has broad application, has no adverse effects on and beneficial to plants, animals, and humans. EM only creates the condition for best results, that the users should nurture the condition and provides the resources for EM to perform optimally. Microorganisms exist naturally throughout the environment from rock crevices to our internal organs.
EM has the potential, given the conditions, to suppress the putrefactive microorganisms which creates obnoxious odor and dominate this sphere and creates fresh surroundings. Organic matter is transformed through the process of fermentation as opposed to putrefaction/decaying, and living organisms as well as inorganic materials are enabled with the means to hinder deterioration. Deterioration is here meant the activity of active oxygen or free-radicals through which organisms degenerate and inorganic materials corrode, as in iron rusting. EM can thus, also be considered as an antioxidant.
Agricultural applications: EM enhances soil health, fertility and plant efficacy by giving a good watering ability and ensuring the solution fully drenches / wets the soil. The beneficial microorganisms are in much greater numbers, and in optimally-balanced populations when introduced, so remain dominant in the soil for a much longer time. It can be used to prevent pest and disease problems in the garden. It acts by creating a barrier around the plant thereby protecting it from insects.
Composting, which adds value for organic urban/rural agriculture can be produced by using EM. It accelerators the process and reduces the composting period from three months to one month.
Livestock husbandry: improves nutrient availability in feed and serves as probiotic and also helps to control bad odor (poultry, horses, diary etc.)
Environmental Management: helps in cleansing of waste.
Solid waste management: In this case EM can be used in order to suppress offensive odor that develops in the landfill sites and transfer stations due to the formation of leachates.
Wastewater treatment: EM not only releases O2 and they also ingest a tremendous amount of sulfur, therefore removing it from the waste stream. EM is feasible in either wastewater treatment plants or on-site wastewater treatment systems such as septic tank and industrial wastewater treatment. It helps to reduce: odor, BOD, COD, and TOC etc. during wastewater treatment.
Some of international applications:
Considering international application of EM, the practice of India on EM technology revealed that the solid waste is decomposed properly without any foul odor or any other hazards. Organic waste can also be processed efficiently and hence can be converted into useful compost. EM technology is applied in manufacturing the treatment products, the microorganisms present in the solid waste treatment product produces anti-oxidants that can penetrate into the huge heaps of heat and thus allowing them to get decomposed at extreme temperature.
Based on the experiments conducted in 1997 at Beijing Haidian District Solid Waste Treatment Plants; it was proved that the micro ecological technology, characterized with EM technology, has a good effect in clearing off stinky smell and reducing mosquitoes and flies both in livestock barns such as sty or hen house and in waste plant. This technology; also makes the conch of harmful gases and the density of flies reach to or lower than the nation requirement.
The experiment was conducted in 2002 at Praekkasa city garbage dumpsite. EM Technology was introduced by Mr. Kanit Mungnil in February 2002. Since then the dumpsite applied EM technology to control bad smells and flies. Application of extended EM solution results the intensive smells and the number of flies to have been decreased by 70%. The complaint from the nearby community was vanished.
In USA Manteca, California, Martin Harris, owner of Cen-Cal Septic Services has been using EM rather than poisonous chemicals to treat the pathogenic bacteria and odors which grow in his septic tanks. The EM acts to purify the wastewater by consuming all the toxins, and the foul odor of the solid waste is eliminated almost immediately. Furthermore, studies have shown that the wastewater, which leaches out the bottom of the septic tank into the groundwater aquifer, contains no harmful chemicals, bacteria, or pollutants.