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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 4, p. 982-991
     
    Received: June 23, 2005


    * Corresponding author(s): rutherfm@unbc.ca
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doi:10.2134/jeq2005.0253

Utilization of Biosolids during the Phytoremediation of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soil

  1. S. J. Dickinson and
  2. P. M. Rutherford *
  1. College of Science and Management, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, Canada V2N 4Z9

Abstract

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%).

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