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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 3, p. 937-943
    Received: Mar 21, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): gao@ufl.edu
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Phosphorus Release from a Biosolids-Amended Sandy Spodosol

  1. Sarah L. Chinault and
  2. George A. O'Connor *
  1. Soil and Water Science Dep., P.O. Box 110510, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0510


Most regulations governing biosolids land application do not consider that phosphorus (P) solubility can vary widely among biosolids. Current regulations typically group all biosolids together in one category or group biosolids together with manures. Research has shown that not all biosolids have the same potential to affect the environment when land applied, but the database is limited. The purpose of this study was to characterize P release from several biosolids produced and/or marketed in Florida. A small soil column dynamic laboratory incubation was conducted to assess P release potential. Eleven biosolids and a mineral fertilizer (triple super phosphate) were individually mixed with a typical low-P sorbing Florida soil (Immokalee fine sand) at 56 and 224 kg P ha−1 Columns were periodically leached over 5.5 mo to attain 60 mL (1/2 pore volume) of drainage in each leaching. Soluble reactive P was determined and summed over the eight leachings to represent total P source release. Cumulative P release (as a percentage of P applied) was greatest from biological P removal (BPR) and BPR-like biosolids and least from heat-dried materials. Phosphorus release from biosolids depends on biosolids treatment type (digestion) and P chemistry, suggesting that biosolids regulations must account for differences in P lability to accurately gauge environmental risk.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America