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Open AccessArticle

Relationship between Mineral Soil Surface Area and the Biological Degradation of Biosolids Added to Soil

1
Civil, Architecture and Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3201 S Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60616, USA
2
Environmental Monitoring and Research Division, Monitoring and Research Department, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 6001 W. Pershing Road, Cicero, IL 60804, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen R. Smith
Agriculture 2016, 6(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture6010001
Received: 7 July 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling Organic Wastes in Agriculture)
Geochemical and biological processes that operate in the soil matrix and on the soil surface are important to the degradation of biosolids in soil. Due to the large surface area of soils it is assumed that the microbial ecology is associated with mineral soil surface area. The total mineral surface areas were determined for soils from eight different fields selected from a long term study (1972–2006) of annual biosolids application to 41 fields in central Illinois varying in size from 3.6 to 66 ha. The surface areas for the soils varied from 1 to 9 m2/g of soil. The biological degradation rates for the eight soils were determined using a biological degradation rate model (DRM) and varied from 0.02 to 0.20/year−1. Regression analysis revealed that the degradation rate was positively associated with mineral soil surface area (1 m2/g produces 0.018 year−1 increase in the degradation rate). The annual soil sequestration rate was calculated to increase from 1% to 6% when the soil total surface area increased from 1 to 9 m2/g of soil. Therefore, land application of biosolids is an effective way to enhance carbon sequestration in soils and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil carbon; carbon sequestration; biosolids; biological degradation; mineral soil surface area soil carbon; carbon sequestration; biosolids; biological degradation; mineral soil surface area
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wen, D.; Zhai, W.; Moschandreas, D.; Tian, G.; Noll, K.E. Relationship between Mineral Soil Surface Area and the Biological Degradation of Biosolids Added to Soil. Agriculture 2016, 6, 1.

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