Nitrogen and phosphorus release from paper mill biosolids as affected by material source and soil type under controlled incubation

Bernard Gagnon, Noura Ziadi
2020 Canadian Journal of Soil Science  
Combined paper mill biosolids (PB) are a well-known fertilizing source of N and P. Many jurisdictions have established default values for estimating their agronomic N and P contribution, but nutrient release can vary with their chemical properties and this has been little studied. The objective of this incubation study was to compare four PB of different sources along with a de-inking paper sludge (DPS) for their N and P release in three contrasting soils under controlled conditions (25°C, 60%
more » ... ditions (25°C, 60% water-filled pore space). Treatments consisted of PB or DPS at 50 Mg fresh ha-1, PB at 30 Mg fresh ha-1 plus inorganic N to supply 100 kg available N ha-1, inorganic NP fertilizer, and an unfertilized control. Measurements of NO3+NH4-N were made after 3 d and 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16 wk of incubation. Mehlich-3 P was measured after 2 and 16 wk of incubation. Nitrogen mineralization generally declined a few days after PB addition and then gradually and constantly increased. The P mineralization of PB also increased with time. By the end of incubation, net N and P release averaged 30% (7-49%) and 75% (16-116%) of the NP fertilizer, respectively. The intensity of release, however, varied with material characteristics and soil type. Mineral N addition to the 30 Mg PB ha-1 promoted N release to a level comparable to NP fertilizer. Soil N immobilization occurred with the DPS application. Current default N value used for PB in Québec and Ontario are appropriate but not P.
doi:10.1139/cjss-2020-0055 fatcat:azafcnbhtvcw7eh55h3h2y4zwq