Utilization of Biosolids during the Phytoremediation of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soil
- S. J. Dickinson and
- P. M. Rutherford *
Addition of anaerobically digested sewage sludge (biosolids) to soil may improve conditions for phytoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) through improved soil chemical, biological, and physical properties. A 32-wk greenhouse study investigated three rates of biosolids addition (0, 13.34, and 26.68 g oven-dry biosolids kg−1 oven-dry soil) and the presence or absence of smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss. cv. Carlton) plants on the removal of diesel (3.5 g kg−1 oven-dry soil) in an industrial, sandy loam soil. Diesel PHCs were divided into two fractions based on equivalent normal straight-chain boiling point ranges (F2: nC10-nC16; F3: nC16-nC34). The addition of biosolids did not increase the extent of PHC degradation but did result in significantly greater first-order decay constants compared to unamended controls. Overall, the presence of plants did not increase the rate or extent of PHC degradation, relative to that observed in unamended, non-vegetated soils. Vegetation was, however, an important factor within the biosolids-amended soils as was observed by a greater extent of PHC degradation. Some of this decrease was attributed to plant-induced removal of biosolids components that were contributing to the F3 fraction. Overall, the low-amendment rate (13.34 g oven-dry biosolids kg−1 oven-dry soil) was considered to be the most effective treatment because it produced the greatest overall PHC degradation rate (0.226 wk−1 for total PHCs) and resulted in the greatest recovery of biosolids-derived N by smooth brome (26.6%).Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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