About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Biosolids-Derived Nitrogen Mineralization and Transformation in Forest Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 32 No. 5, p. 1851-1856
    Received: June 16, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): hailong.wang@forestresearch.co.nz
Request Permissions

  1. Hailong Wang *,
  2. Mark O. Kimberley and
  3. Mirko Schlegelmilch
  1. Forest Research, Sala Street, Private Bag 3020, Rotorua, New Zealand


Utilization of biosolids through land application is becoming increasingly popular among wastewater managers. To minimize the potential contamination of receiving waters from biosolids-derived nitrogen (N), it is important to understand the availability of N after land application of biosolids. In this study, four secondary biosolids (two municipal and two pulp and paper industrial biosolids) were used in a laboratory incubation experiment to simulate N mineralization and transformation after land application. Municipal biosolids were from either aerobically or anaerobically digested sources, while pulp and paper industrial biosolids were from aerated wastewater stabilization lagoons. These biosolids were mixed with two New Zealand forest soils (top 100 mm of a volcanic soil and a brown soil) and incubated at two temperatures (10 and 20°C) for 26 wk. During incubation, mineralized N was periodically leached from the soil–biosolids mixture with 0.01 M CaCl2 solution and concentrations of NH4 and NO3 in leachate were determined. Mineralization of N from aerobically digested municipal biosolids (32.1%) was significantly more than that from anaerobically digested biosolids (15.2%). Among the two pulp and paper industrial biosolids, little N leached from one, while as much as 18.0% of total organic N was leached from the other. As expected, mineralization of N was significantly greater at 20°C (average 22.8%) than at 10°C (average 9.7%). It was observed that more N in municipal biosolids was mineralized in the brown soil, whereas more N in pulp and paper industrial biosolids mineralized in the volcanic soil. Transformation of NH4 to NO3 was affected by soil type and temperature.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2003. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA