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Agriculture 2019, 9(1), 21;

Sulfur-Enriched Bone Char as Alternative P Fertilizer: Spectroscopic, Wet Chemical, and Yield Response Evaluation

Soil Science, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, D-18051 Rostock, Germany
Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Seestraße 15, 18119 Rostock, Germany
Julius Kühn Institute, Institute for Crop and Soil Science, Bundesallee 69, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
Medical Biology and Electron Microscopic Centre, University Medicine Rostock, Strempelstraße 14, 18057 Rostock, Germany
Department Life, Light & Matter—University of Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phosphorus in Agriculture)
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Phosphorus- (P) rich bone char (BC) could be an alternative P fertilizer in sustainable agriculture; however, it has a low P solubility. Therefore, sulfur-enriched BC (BCplus) was tested for chemical composition and fertilization effects in a pot experiment. In BCplus sulfur, concentrations increased from <0.1% to 27% and pH decreased from 8.6 to 5.0. These modifications did not change P solubility in water, neutral ammonium citrate, and citric acid. A pot experiment with annual rye grass (Lolium multiflorum L.) and treatments without P (P0), BC, BCplus and triple superphosphate (TSP) was set up. The cumulative dry matter yield of the BC treatment was similar to P0, and that of BCplus similar to TSP. The plant P uptake was in the order P0 = BC < BCplus < TSP. Consequently, the apparent nutrient recovery efficiency differed significantly between BC (<3%), BCplus (10% to 15%), and TSP (>18%). The tested equilibrium extractions, regularly used to classify mineral P-fertilizers, failed to predict differences in plant yield and P uptake. Therefore, non-equilibrium extraction methods should be tested in combination with pot experiments. Additionally, particle-plant root scale analyses and long-term experiments are necessary to gain insights into fertilizer-plant interactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: pot experiment; phosphorus; biochar; SEM-EDX; fertilizer value pot experiment; phosphorus; biochar; SEM-EDX; fertilizer value

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zimmer, D.; Panten, K.; Frank, M.; Springer, A.; Leinweber, P. Sulfur-Enriched Bone Char as Alternative P Fertilizer: Spectroscopic, Wet Chemical, and Yield Response Evaluation. Agriculture 2019, 9, 21.

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