About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Groundwater Quality

Transformations of Nitrogen and Carbon in Entrenched Biosolids at a Reclaimed Mineral Sands Mining Site


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 1, p. 67-75
    Received: May 21, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): kkostya@vt.edu
Request Permissions

  1. K. I. Kostyanovsky *a,
  2. G. K. Evanylob,
  3. K. K. Lasleyb,
  4. C. Shangb,
  5. B. F. Sukkariyahb and
  6. W. L. Danielsb
  1. a Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center, 1509 Aggie Dr., Beaumont, TX 77713
    b Dep. of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Smyth Hall, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA, 24061-0403. Assigned to Associate Editor Christopher Green


Biosolids deep-row incorporation (DRI) provides high levels of nutrients to the reclamation sites; however, additions of N in excess of the vegetation requirements can potentially impair water quality. The effects of anaerobically digested (AD) and lime stabilized (LS) DRI biosolids and inorganic N fertilizer were compared on C and N transformations and transport at a reclaimed mineral sands mining site. Biosolids were applied at 213 and 426 Mg AD biosolids ha−1 and 328 and 656 Mg LS biosolids ha−1 (dry mass), and inorganic N fertilizer was applied at 0 (control) and 504 kg N ha−1 yr−1 Zero tension lysimeters were installed to collect leachate for determination of vertical N transport, and the biosolids seams were analyzed for N and C transformations after 28 mo aging. The leaching masses from the DRI biosolids treatments were 139 to 291 kg ha−1 NO3–N, 61 to 243 kg ha−1 NH4–N, and 61 to 269 kg ha−1 organic N, while the fertilizer treatment did not differ from the control. Aged biosolids analysis showed that total N lost over the course of 2 yr was 15.2 Mg ha−1 and 10.9 Mg ha−1 for LS and AD biosolids, respectively, which was roughly 50% of the N applied. Organic C losses were 81 Mg ha−1 and 33 Mg ha−1 for LS and AD biosolids, respectively. Our results indicated that entrenchment of biosolids in coarse-textured media should not be used as a mined land reclamation technique because the anaerobic conditions required to limit mineralization and nitrification cannot be maintained in such permeable soils.

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

Copyright © 2011. 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