Phosphorus (P) in wastes from piggeries may contribute to the eutrophication of waterways if not disposed of appropriately. Phosphorus leaching, from three soils with different P sorption characteristics (two with low P retention and one with moderate P retention) when treated with piggery effluent (with or without struvite), was investigated using batch and leaching experiments. The leaching of P retained in soil from the application of struvite effluent was determined. In addition, P leaching from lime residues (resulting from the treatment of piggery effluent with lime to remove P) was determined in comparison to superphosphate when applied to the same three soils.

Most P was leached from sandy soils with low P retention when effluent with or without struvite was applied. More than 100% of the filterable P applied in struvite effluent was leached in sandy soils with low P retention. Solid, inorganic forms of P (struvite) became soluble and potentially leachable at pH < 7 or were sorbed after dissolution if there were sufficient sorption sites. In sandy soils with low P retention, more than 39% of the total filterable P applied in recycled effluent (without struvite) was leached. Soil P increased mainly in surface layers after treatment with effluent. Sandy soils pre-treated with struvite effluent leached 40% of the P retained in the previous application. Phosphorus decreased in surface layers and increased at depth in the soil with moderate P retention after leaching the struvite effluent pre-treated soil with water. The soils capacity to adsorb P and the soil pH were the major soil properties that affected the rate and amount of P leaching, whereas the important characteristics of the effluent were pH, P concentration and the forms of P in the effluent.

Phosphorus losses from soils amended with hydrated lime and lime kiln dust residues were much lower than losses from soils amended with superphosphate. Up to 92% of the P applied as superphosphate was leached from sandy soils with low P retention, whereas only up to 60% of the P applied in lime residues was leached. The P source contributing least to P leaching was the lime kiln dust residue. The amount of P leached depended on the water-soluble P content, netralising value and application rate of the P source, and the pH and P sorption capacity of the soil.


Food Science | Nutrition



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