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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 5, p. 1885-1894
    Received: Nov 26, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): Virginie.Parnaudeau@reims.inra.fr
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Relevance of Organic Matter Fractions as Predictors of Wastewater Sludge Mineralization in Soil

  1. Virginie Parnaudeau *a,
  2. Bernard Nicolardota and
  3. Jérôme Pagèsb
  1. a INRA, Unité d'Agronomie de Laon-Reims-Mons, 2 esplanade R. Garros, BP 224, 51686 Reims cedex 2, France
    b ENSAR, Laboratoire de Mathématiques Appliquées, 65 rue de St Brieuc, CS 84215, 35042 Rennes cedex, France


Seventeen different wastewater sludges were characterized using both chemical and organic matter fractionation methods (water extraction, Van Soest method, and acid hydrolysis) and 6-mo incubation studies to assess their decomposition in soil. Simple correlation and multiple factor analysis (MFA) were then performed to establish relationships between composition and C and N mineralization of sludges. Carbon and N concentrations covered a wide range of values, but organic carbon (Co) to organic nitrogen (No) ratios were relatively low (from 5 to 19). Carbon and N were mainly distributed in the most soluble fractions of the Van Soest method and in the water-insoluble fraction at 100°C. Carbon mineralization varied from 180 to 661 g C kg−1 organic C added during the 168-d incubation. The addition of sludges led to different inorganic N dynamics: from −3.3 to +120.0 g N kg−1 sludge organic C mineralized after the 168-d incubation. Fractionation studies showed that the most discriminating method was acid hydrolysis. Carbon mineralization was linked with the proportion of sludge N and C present in the lignin-like fraction (r = −0.68 and −0.65, respectively). Significant relationships were established between N mineralization and No to Co ratio (0.88 < r < 0.95) and the Co to No ratio of sludges, the C to N ratio of the soluble fraction obtained by the Van Soest method, the water-soluble fraction at 100°C, and the C and N present in the acid-hydrolyzable fraction. Finally, multiple factor analysis also enabled establishing a sludge typology using five clusters based on composition and mineralization characteristics.

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Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA