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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Ammonia Volatilization from Surface or Incorporated Biosolids by the Addition of Dicyandiamide


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 27 No. 4, p. 980-983
    Received: July 9, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): mquemada@upna.es
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  1. M. Quemada *,
  2. B. Lasa,
  3. C. Lamsfus and
  4. P. M. Aparicio-Tejo
  1. Dep. de Producción Agraria, Universidad Pública de Navarra, 31006 Pamplona, Spain.



Biosolids management can affect N gaseous losses, and may be an important tool for sludge N management. The objectives of our experiment were to determine the effect of dicyandiamide (DCD) addition and biosolids placement on (i) ammonia volatilization, and (ii) C mineralization and inorganic N accumulation. Biosolids, treated or untreated with DCD, were either surface-applied or soil-incorporated at a rate of 31.7 g of dry solids kg−1 soil, and incubated in flasks at 21°C for 62 d. Free air was renewed at 0.15 L min−1 and NH3 and CO2 in the air flowing out of each flask were collected in traps for each treatment. Inorganic N in soil plus biosolids mixtures was determined at the end of the study. Surface-applied biosolids treated with DCD lost 71% while nontreated biosolids lost 20% of the applied NH+4-N. Soil-incorporated biosolids lost <5% of the applied NH+4-N. Surface placement of the biosolids enhanced C mineralization, while it did not affect inorganic N accumulation. Addition of DCD to the biosolids did not affect C mineralization, but increased the accumulation of inorganic N. These results suggest that addition of DCD and biosolids placement can be used for managing sludge N.

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