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Nutrient Leaching Loss of Pre-Treated Struvite and Its Application in Sudan Grass Cultivation as an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Fertilizer Source

1
Department of Animal Industry Convergence, College of Animal Life Sciences, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea
2
Department of Environmental Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, Dhaka 1230, Bangladesh
3
U.S. Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro 76062, Pakistan
4
Department of Animal Resources, College of Life and Environmental Science, Daegu University, Gyeongsan 38453, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154204
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 3 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Struvite recovered from waste streams is considered as a sustainable alternative to commercial phosphate (P) fertilizers manufactured from P rock. In this study, struvite was recovered from swine wastewater and pre-treated as air-dried material (AM), microwave irradiated material (MM), oven-dried material (OM), and incinerated material (IM) to reduce the moisture content. Based on their solubility and crystalline nature, AM and IM were selected for further experiments. The nutrient leaching loss and fertilizing value of AM and IM were evaluated in comparison to commercial fused superphosphate (FSP) fertilizer. Soil columns were used to quantify ortho-phosphate (O-P) and ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N) leaching in soil from the test materials. Among the test materials, the average leaching rate of O-P for FSP and AM was significantly different from the control and IM (p < 0.05). The average leaching rate of NH4-N among the test materials did not show any significant difference (p > 0.05). Sudan grass growth was examined with standard (urea supplemented) and high (20x, without urea) application of test materials in pot and soil box trials, respectively, to study the fertilizing value AM and IM. There were no significant differences among the test materials, except for the control, in terms of growth rate and fresh and dry matter yield in the pot trials (p > 0.05). When AM, IM, and FSP were applied in increasing amounts (20x) without urea supplement, Sudan grass growth was 50% lower in IM and was found to be significantly different from AM and FSP (p < 0.05). The results suggest that struvite pre-treated as AM could be an effective sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to commercial P fertilizers and thus helps to ensure agricultural sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: Struvite; swine wastewater; pre-treatment; leaching; Sudan grass Struvite; swine wastewater; pre-treatment; leaching; Sudan grass
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Reza, A.; Shim, S.; Kim, S.; Ahmed, N.; Won, S.; Ra, C. Nutrient Leaching Loss of Pre-Treated Struvite and Its Application in Sudan Grass Cultivation as an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Fertilizer Source. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4204.

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