The aim of the present study was to determine changes in the physicochemical properties and toxicity of soil amended with sewage sludge (10tdw/ha) or sewage sludge (10tdw/ha) with biochar addition (2.5, 5 or 10% of sewage sludge). The study was carried out as a field experiment over a period of 18months. Samples for analysis were taken at the beginning of the experiment as well as after 6, 12 and 18months. The study investigated toxicity of the unamended soil, sewage sludge-amended soil and sewage sludge-amended soil with biochar addition towards Folsomia candida (collembolan test) and Lepidium sativum (Phytotoxkit F). Moreover, toxicity of aqueous extracts obtained from the tested soils towards Vibrio fischeri (Microtox®) and Lepidium sativum (elongation test) was determined.The study showed that addition of biochar to the sewage sludge and soil reduced leaching of nutrients (mainly phosphorus and potassium) from the amended soil. Biochar significantly reduced sewage sludge toxicity, exhibiting a stimulating effect on the tested organisms. The stimulating effect of biochar addition to the sewage sludge persisted throughout the entire experiment. Apart from the remediatory character of biochar, this is also evidence of its fertilizing character. In the tests with L. sativum (leachates and solid phase) and V. fischeri (leachates), increasing the rate of biochar in the sewage sludge increased root growth stimulation (L. sativum) and bacteria luminescence (V. fischeri). However, increasing biochar rate decreased F. candida reproduction stimulation, which could have been an effect of reduced nutrient bioavailability due to the biochar.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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