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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1491-1502; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051491
Article

Release of Nitrogen and Phosphorus from Poultry Litter Amended with Acidified Biochar

1
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1,* , 2
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2
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3
 and
1
1 Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, The University of Georgia, 3111 Miller Plant Sciences Building, Athens, GA 30602, USA 2 Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Driftmier Engineering Center, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA 3 Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory, 2400 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 March 2011 / Revised: 3 May 2011 / Accepted: 9 May 2011 / Published: 11 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution: Prevention and Mitigation)
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Abstract

Application of poultry litter (PL) to soil may lead to nitrogen (N) losses through ammonia (NH3) volatilization and to potential contamination of surface runoff with PL-derived phosphorus (P). Amending litter with acidified biochar may minimize these problems by decreasing litter pH and by retaining litter-derived P, respectively. This study evaluated the effect of acidified biochars from pine chips (PC) and peanut hulls (PH) on NH3 losses and inorganic N and P released from surface-applied or incorporated PL. Poultry litter with or without acidified biochars was surface-applied or incorporated into the soil and incubated for 21 d. Volatilized NH3 was determined by trapping it in acid. Inorganic N and P were determined by leaching the soil with 0.01 M of CaCl2 during the study and by extracting it with 1 M KCl after incubation. Acidified biochars reduced NH3 losses by 58 to 63% with surface-applied PL, and by 56 to 60% with incorporated PL. Except for PH biochar, which caused a small increase in leached NH4+-N with incorporated PL, acidified biochars had no effect on leached or KCl-extractable inorganic N and P from surface-applied or incorporated PL. These results suggest that acidified biochars may decrease NH3 losses from PL but may not reduce the potential for P loss in surface runoff from soils receiving PL.
Keywords: acidified biochar; poultry litter; inorganic nitrogen; inorganic phosphorus; ammonia volatilization acidified biochar; poultry litter; inorganic nitrogen; inorganic phosphorus; ammonia volatilization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Doydora, S.A.; Cabrera, M.L.; Das, K.C.; Gaskin, J.W.; Sonon, L.S.; Miller, W.P. Release of Nitrogen and Phosphorus from Poultry Litter Amended with Acidified Biochar. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 1491-1502.

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