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Open AccessArticle

Upcycling Phosphorus Recovered from Anaerobically Digested Dairy Manure to Support Production of Vegetables and Flowers

1
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
2
Magic Dirt Horticultural Products, LLC, Little Rock, AR 72223, USA
3
Department of Plant & Soil Science, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
4
Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
5
CDT Tech, Inc., Columbia, CT 06489, USA
6
DVO, Inc., Chilton, WI 53014, USA
7
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
8
Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031139
Received: 22 December 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2020 / Accepted: 31 January 2020 / Published: 5 February 2020
Dissolved air flotation (DAF) separates phosphorus (P)-rich fine solids from anaerobically digested dairy manure, creating opportunities to export surplus P to the marketplace as a bagged plant food product. Seedlings of tomato and marigold were amended at various volume per volume (v/v) ratios with plant foods consisting of fine solids upcycled (i.e., transformed into a higher quality product) by drying and blending with other organic residuals. A plate competition assay was conducted to assess the fine solids’ potential to suppress the plant pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. Plant foods were comprised of 2.0–2.1% N, 0.8–0.9% P and 0.6–0.8% K. Extractions indicated that plant foods contained a mixture of plant-available and slow-release P. At 6% v/v plant food, dry biomass of marigold and tomato were six-times greater than the unamended control and not significantly different from a market alternative treatment. Fine solids exhibited negligible potential to suppress R. solani. This study indicates that DAF-separated fine solids could be used to support horticulture, providing information for design of a circular economy approach to dairy manure nutrient management. Life cycle assessment and business model development for this nutrient recovery strategy are necessary next steps to further guide sustainability efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrient recovery; waste valorization; organics recycling; circular economy nutrient recovery; waste valorization; organics recycling; circular economy
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    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3637591
    Link: https://zenodo.org/record/3637591#.Xjng2M5KiUk
    Description: Table S1; Nutrient contents of materials on a dry weight basis, Table S2; Bioassay germination rates, survival rates, root dry biomass, shoot dry biomass and total dry biomass by amendment and application rate, Figure S1; Pathogen suppression potential of as-is fine solids and the market alternative
MDPI and ACS Style

Porterfield, K.K.; Joblin, R.; Neher, D.A.; Curtis, M.; Dvorak, S.; Rizzo, D.M.; Faulkner, J.W.; Roy, E.D. Upcycling Phosphorus Recovered from Anaerobically Digested Dairy Manure to Support Production of Vegetables and Flowers. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1139.

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