Plant available nitrogen and phosphorus from composted waste materials

Current EU legislation on waste management (2008/98/EC) and conservation of water systems (91/676/EEC) has seen a growth in the area of compost research. Traditionally the commercial crop growing and agricultural industries have used inorganic fertilisers as the main source to supply nutrients to crops and plants.

Further Author:
A. Lee - Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin St. Dublin 8

This study aims to investigate nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) release from composted waste materials from numerous different feedstock materials. Much of the literature available on compost research is limited to studies investigating N availability and to a lesser extent P as a nutrient source. This study will also help to gain knowledge of release rates for both N and P. There is a great importance in understanding N and P availability from composted waste. The reasons for this being that it is essential to apply a sufficient amount of compost to ensure the necessary uptake of N and P by the plant whilst minimising the possibility of nutrient run – off which may have adverse effects on the environment. An incubation study was conducted to investigate available N and P from the various composts over a four week period. The N incubation was conducted at 25°C whilst the P incubation was conducted at 30°C. Rates of application were bases on compost total N and total P as an N and P equivalent to chemical control (calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) and single superphosphate (SSP)). Initial results show that available N displayed a more consistent trend than P. The manure wastes were the only category to show an increase in available N over the incubation period. The catering/food waste group was the only other group to exhibit an available N level above 10% during the incubation. The other three groups were all less than 10% initially before dropping to less than 1% by the final extraction. The P results were more varied. Manure wastes had a high initial available P ~40% but had a rapidly decreasing supply, similar to the control. Both biowaste and green waste had an increase in available P at the second extraction before decreasing at the last extraction. The municipal and catering/food wastes had the steadiest available P levels over the four week incubation.



Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Quelle: Orbit 2012 (Juni 2012)
Seiten: 7
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 7,00
Autor: Dr Munoo Prasad
Michael Gaffney
Prof John Cassidy

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