Agronomic benefits of biochar as a soil amendment after its use as waste water filtration medium

Agronomic benefits of biochar as a soil amendment after its use as waste water filtration medium In many water-scarce countries, waste water is used for irrigation which poses a health risk to farmers and consumers. At the same time, it delivers nutrients to the farming systems. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that biochar can be used as a filter medium for waste water treatment to reduce pathogen loads. At the same time, the biochar is becoming enriched with nutrients and therefore can act as a fertilizer for soil amendment. We used biochar as a filter medium for the filtration of raw waste water and compared the agronomic effects of this “filterchar” (FC) and the untreated biochar (BC) in a greenhouse pot trial on spring wheat biomass production on an acidic sandy soil from Niger. The biochar filter showed the same removal of pathogens as a common sand filter (1.4 log units on average). We did not observe a nutrient accumulation in FC compared to untreated BC. Instead, P, Mg and K were reduced during filtration while N content remained unchanged. Nevertheless, higher biomass (Triticum L. Spp.) production in BC (+72%) and FC (+37%) treatments (20 t ha−1), compared with the unamended control, were found. There were no significant differences in aboveground biomass production between BC and FC. Soil available P content was increased by BC (+106%) and FC (+52%) application. Besides, mineral nitrogen content was reduced in BC treated soil and to a lesser extent when FC was used. This may be explained by reduced sorption affinity for mineral nitrogen compounds on FC surfaces. Although the nutrients provided by FC decreased, due to leaching in the filter, it still yielded higher biomass than the unamended control. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies Elsevier

Agronomic benefits of biochar as a soil amendment after its use as waste water filtration medium

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0968-090X
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.envpol.2017.10.048
Publisher site
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Abstract

In many water-scarce countries, waste water is used for irrigation which poses a health risk to farmers and consumers. At the same time, it delivers nutrients to the farming systems. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that biochar can be used as a filter medium for waste water treatment to reduce pathogen loads. At the same time, the biochar is becoming enriched with nutrients and therefore can act as a fertilizer for soil amendment. We used biochar as a filter medium for the filtration of raw waste water and compared the agronomic effects of this “filterchar” (FC) and the untreated biochar (BC) in a greenhouse pot trial on spring wheat biomass production on an acidic sandy soil from Niger. The biochar filter showed the same removal of pathogens as a common sand filter (1.4 log units on average). We did not observe a nutrient accumulation in FC compared to untreated BC. Instead, P, Mg and K were reduced during filtration while N content remained unchanged. Nevertheless, higher biomass (Triticum L. Spp.) production in BC (+72%) and FC (+37%) treatments (20 t ha−1), compared with the unamended control, were found. There were no significant differences in aboveground biomass production between BC and FC. Soil available P content was increased by BC (+106%) and FC (+52%) application. Besides, mineral nitrogen content was reduced in BC treated soil and to a lesser extent when FC was used. This may be explained by reduced sorption affinity for mineral nitrogen compounds on FC surfaces. Although the nutrients provided by FC decreased, due to leaching in the filter, it still yielded higher biomass than the unamended control.

Journal

Transportation Research Part C: Emerging TechnologiesElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2018

References

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